Probe finds Cerro Gordo school threat not credible

Probe finds Cerro Gordo school threat not credible

CERRO GORDO — Schools in this southern Piatt County town had an increased law-enforcement presence on campus Friday morning after students reported a possible threat they overheard at the high school Thursday afternoon.

After an investigation that included the FBI, the threat was determined not to be credible, but “out of an abundance of caution, there will still be an increased presence of law enforcement” Friday morning, according to a statement the district posted on its Facebook page.

Both Cerro Gordo and Piatt County Sheriff’s police had personnel on duty Friday morning at the high school, which had a planned afternoon off for students.

Superintendent Brett Robinson said the report of a threat may have originated from students talking about Wednesday’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“I think the tragic events and discussion of those tragic events ... was probably the beginning of students talking about that topic, and developed into the situation we mentioned” in the Facebook post, he said.

“We did some interviews with kids that had passed along that another kid might be making threats to the school,” said Piatt County Sheriff David Hunt. “We’ve tracked down all the kids involved and there’s no credibility to this point.”

The sheriff said it might have also been a “carryover” from a perceived threat to the school reported last fall, which was also not found to be credible.

Even though both threats were deemed unfounded, Robinson said “any time students are discussing this topic, we want to delve into what their concerns are and provide them an opportunity to talk about their feelings with whoever they are comfortable with. If there are concerns, we want to hear those and take them seriously and thoroughly investigate them.”

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