SJ-O superintendent to parents: 'We need students to take this seriously'

SJ-O superintendent to parents: 'We need students to take this seriously'

ST. JOSEPH — In a second letter to parents in 24 hours, administrators at St. Joseph-Ogden High School stressed the importance of students, staff and parents coming forward with information regarding possible threats to the school.

"We need students to take this seriously," Superintendent Brian Brooks wrote. "And we need students, parents, staff, etc., to be attentive to these types of things and bring these concerns to someone's attention. We are all in this together."

A Thursday-night incident at the high school that Brooks described as "alarming" led to the district contacting the Champaign County Sheriff's Office to investigate. A second unspecified incident Friday at the high school led to Brooks sending a second letter, which he said was intended to provide new information and dispel rumors.

The new information is not tied to an earlier incident regarding writing on a student table.

"Last night's situation has sparked some students to bring information to school officials and/or their parents regarding comments that may have been made in the past by some other students that are related to the topic of student safety," the email read.

"Any student(s) who the school was made aware of today in terms of possibly making alarming comments were immediately pulled into the office and were investigated by the Champaign County Police investigators and/or the SJO administration."

Brooks said the Champaign County investigators found no evidence that suggested any potential risk for school safety at this time. No one from the high school was arrested, Brooks told The Leader.

SJ-O will conduct its own investigation, as well, and the student will not be in school during that process, Brooks said.

"Everyone's concern is heightened right now and we fully understand and support all parents/and or guardians in that," his email read. "We will continue to act immediately, both now and into the future, on any information that comes our way that is related to student or staff safety in any way."

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