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posted: 12/20/2012 12:58 PM

Palatine HS principal dispels rumors of gun threat

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Daily Herald report

Palatine High School Principal Gary Steiger issued a statement to students and parents Thursday morning dispelling rumors that someone was bringing a gun to the school Friday.

According to the statement, school officials investigated the "noncredible" rumors, which were being posted on Twitter and possibly other social media sites, after hearing reports of them Wednesday.

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The school determined, Steiger said, that the reports "repeated portions of an overheard conversation where words and statements were taken out of context between two people talking to each other in the media center."

Steiger said the school is working closely with the Palatine Police Department to investigate the rumors. He added that police will have an increased presence at the school on Thursday and Friday.

"Our intent is not to increase any anxiety or cause unnecessary concern, but to do exactly the opposite by providing you with the facts as we know them," he said. "We will continue to investigate any and all information we receive, and we encourage anyone with additional information to please let us know as soon as possible."

Steiger noted in the statement that rumors and copycat threats often emerge after tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last week. He said similar rumors have already occurred at other area districts and believes Friday was mentioned in the Palatine High School rumors because of the hype about Dec. 21 being significant on the Mayan calendar.

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