Woodstock police and Woodstock North High School authorities responded to a report from a concerned parent Tuesday morning, February 20, 2018 regarding a threatening message with a picture of a gun from a Woodstock North High School student. The photo showed a handgun with a caption that could be construed as threatening. The photo and message reached other students, but the specific social media platform that was used was not mentioned, and authorities were not specific regarding whether the photo and message were displayed on a post or a direct message.
The photo and message was apparently sent from one student to at least one other student, and did not involve a specific threat to the school or to any particular students.
High school officials contacted the Woodstock Police Department’s school resource officer, who worked with detectives to locate the student. The student was found in the high school unarmed with no apparent threat. The male student and his guardian were interviewed by police, who also completed a comprehensive threat assessment and searched the teen’s home after the family consented to having their home searched.
The investigation revealed that the teen had copied the photo from a source on the Internet, and that he never actually possessed a gun or any other weapon, according to Woodstock police.
“In an effort to make juveniles fully aware of the consequences that could occur, the Woodstock Police Department strongly recommends that parents discuss with their children the effects of conducting alarming or disturbing actions.”
— Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb
“There is never a time when school threats are appropriate … But obviously there is a heightened sense of concern among staff, students, police and parents following last week’s tragedy in Parkland, Florida. We took appropriate actions as quickly as possible to ensure student safety.”
— District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan
The Woodstock North High School student was arrested Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct after he was alleged to have sent the threatening message and picture of a gun. The 17-year-old boy was removed from school and released to his guardian’s custody, but could face disciplinary actions by Woodstock Community Unit School District 200, including suspension or expulsion.
The name of the alleged offender was not released because of his age, according to police.
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