Crete-Monee High School to boost police presence
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY firstname.lastname@example.org February 5, 2014 6:30PM
Updated: March 7, 2014 12:49PM
In the wake of additional threats of violence on social media, Crete-Monee High School will have an added police presence in and around the school, according to a message posted on the district’s website.
According to the district’s “social media rumor message,” on its website, “posts were showing up on social media Monday rumoring that a shooting was to take place at Crete-Monee High School on Tuesday.”
Two students were arrested at the school on Monday, when four fights broke out throughout the school day, according to Crete police.
School officials remained mum on Monday’s fights, and administrators on Wednesday did not return calls seeking comment.
But the school district’s online message warned parents that, “If you see additional police presence around our campus, please be assured that this is our proactive approach to ensure student and staff safety.
The district did not specify how long the added police protection would be at the school.
“Please share this information with your child and let him/her know that counselors, social workers, deans and building administrators are available if they need further assurance,” the message stated.
Police were notified of Tuesday’s threat and all after-school activities were cancelled, even though the rumors were never substantiated, it said.
School officials did acknowledge on the district website that there were four separate incidents on Monday — three fights and a verbal altercation. These incidents occurred, based on alleged posts on social media, it said.
“Even though we cannot control rumors, we can certainly assure you that the environment at Crete-Monee High School is well monitored and your student’s safety will always be our primary concern,” the online message said.
According to Crete Police Chief Jim Paoletti two students were arrested following fights on Monday. Damaria Sutton, 18, of Park Forest, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds after she allegedly brought a knife to school, the chief said. In a second related fight, a 15-year-old female juvenile was charged with disorderly conduct after she brandished a padlock as a weapon, he said.
In two other fights Monday, a teacher was kicked in the ribs when she tried to shield a student who had been knocked to the ground. A student suffered a concussion after trying to separate two other fighting teens, Chief Paoletti said.
Police were to review videotapes at the school Wednesday to determine who was involved in these incidents, the chief said. He said he believes the four incidents Monday were between two factions.
“All of these are the result of individuals in these groups rooting for their friends,” Paoletti said. “These kids have tremendous opportunities at this beautiful school.”