Since Florida shooting: 14 threats of violence at area schools

Since Florida shooting: 14 threats of violence at area schools

Hear full interviews with Allen Jones here and Brian Brooks here.

Threats against schools by students or others have been going on for a long time. But since the Parkland High School shooting in Florida on Feb. 14 where 17 people lost their lives, there have been at least fourteen threats made against schools in East Central Illinois.

All have been fake or not credible. However, school officials and law enforcement said people need to understand the serious nature of the threats.

The 14 reported incidents include two threats in the Monticello School District, one at St. Joseph-Ogden High School and two in Champaign Unit 4 Schools. One saw a student bring a stun gun to Jefferson Middle School. An interactive map of all the incidents is below:

Champaign County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Allen Jones said the agency hopes the incidents are more often than not a joke. But he said even then, it is not okay to make those kind of jokes.

Jones said it's an incredibly difficult decision on whether to charge a student who made the threat.

Jones added that making a threat against a school is a terrorist act based on Illinois law and is a crime.

St. Joseph-Ogden High School Superintendent Brian Brooks spoke after the incident at his school in late February. He said kids today have grown up hearing about shootings in schools.

Brooks said it's important for everyone that if you see something, say something.

Brooks said it makes him sad that people across the country are dealing with school shootings.

Nora Maberry-Daniels of The Leader contributed to this story.

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