Police: Girl faces charges for Lemont school bomb threat
A Lemont middle school student who admitted to writing a bomb threat on a wall at Oakwood School will be charged as a juvenile, police said Tuesday, and her actions could result in expulsion and having to make restitution, according to the school’s student handbook.
Attendance dropped dramatically at two Lemont schools both Monday and Tuesday, and the threat found Sunday also resulted in a round-the-clock response by police. The threat, written on an exterior wall, mentioned a bomb at the school Tuesday.
Police Chief Kevin Shaughnessy declined to specify what charges the girl would face, citing her status as a juvenile. But he said recouping the expenses — which he previously said could be thousands of dollars — will be part of the case. A search by a Cook County bomb squad was part of the police response.
Shaughnessy called the incident a “juvenile prank.”
“We want to assure parents that everything is OK. This has been resolved and fears put to rest,” he said.
Police notified the school of the threat and searched the building before classes started Monday morning. Parents were notified that there would be a strong police presence outside and additional supervision in the hallways on Monday and Tuesday, but attendance at Oakwood School and adjacent River Valley School was 20 percent lower than usual Monday and 30 to 40 percent lower Tuesday, Supt. Susan Birkenmaier said.
The student confessed Tuesday to a school administrator, Birkenmaier said.
Severe student disciplinary action will be pursued in light of the damage to property, extensive disruption to the school day, and the threat to public safety, according to a news release issued by the school district.
According to the student handbook, such an offense is punishable by up to 10 days suspension or expulsion, in addition to restitution.
“I am disappointed that the consequences of the student’s action had such a widespread disruptive effect,” Birkenmaier said. “We have our eye on the world. We have a safety plan in place. We’re confident we did the right thing.”