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Unfounded social media threat results in increased police presence at Plainfield South Halloween morning

A Joliet water tower stands next to Plainfield South High School, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Joliet, Ill.
A Joliet water tower stands next to Plainfield South High School, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Joliet, Ill.

PLAINFIELD – There was an increased police presence Tuesday morning at Plainfield South High School after a possible threat a student made on social media.

Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 officials learned of a student’s potentially threatening social media post around 5 p.m. Monday and immediately alerted Joliet police, community relations director Tom Hernandez said. Although the school has a Plainfield address, Joliet police have jurisdiction over the school.

“We have a great relationship with the police agency,” Hernandez said.

As police investigated, parents and guardians of Plainfield South students received several alerts about the situation as it unfolded.

The first alert was sent around 7:25 p.m.

“We want to let you know that we are aware of a post on social media suggesting a threat to Plainfield South tomorrow,” the alert said. “At this time the Joliet police are investigating that posting. Given the hour, we didn’t want to wait too long before sharing this information with you.”

At that point, school was to go on as planned with extra police presence and “vigilant” staff.

Just after 9 p.m., the district was able to send an update.

“We apologize for this late call; however, we wanted to let you know that the police have thoroughly investigated the suggested threat against Plainfield South that was posted on social media and have determined that it is not credible,” the alert said.

The message concluded, saying more police than normal would be present at the school so all would be “comfortable” starting the day.

Hernandez declined to provide information about the specifics of the threat or discipline for the student involved. Joliet police didn’t return calls asking for further information.

There were no issues Tuesday morning, Hernandez said.

“My understanding with the principal was that school got off fine, the police were there – they were great,” Hernandez said.

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