Threat not credible, but Lake Park cancels classes
Administrators canceled classes Friday morning at both Lake Park High School campuses in Roselle after a social media threat caused a "significant disruption to the school day."
Roselle police told administrators as early as 7 a.m. that there was no credible threat, despite postings "all over the place" on social media, Deputy Chief Roman Tarchala said.
As a result, school board President Barbara Layer said the day began with an honor roll assembly for freshmen at the East campus, 600 S. Medinah Road, and with regular operations at the West campus, 500 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
On social media, though, "hearsay spread like wildfire," Layer said. By about 8:45 a.m., parents began arriving at the schools to pick up their students. At 9 a.m., the school posted an update to its website and sent information to parents saying the buildings were being carefully monitored with extra police.
By 10:15 a.m., administrators had decided to call off classes at both buildings for the rest of the day. Buses began arriving at the East campus about 15 minutes later to pick up freshmen and sophomores and then at the West campus for juniors and seniors.
Layer said she arrived at the East campus about 10:15 a.m. to find the situation under control, with students, teachers, administrators and parents all remaining calm and a strong police presence. She said sending students home was the best decision under the circumstances.
"With everything going on, there wasn't a lot of learning taking place," Layer said. "So it was a very good decision -- and a very safe decision -- to have the students be dismissed for the day."
"People are on a heightened level of concern," Tarchala said. "We understand that school safety is important. We take those things seriously."
The situation was complicated even more when Bloomingdale police were called to Lakeview Park after the body of a missing suicidal man was found. The similarity between the name of the park and the school added to some parents' concerns.
Lake Park High School District 108 spokeswoman Sheri Anderson said the school reopened at 3 p.m. Friday for after-school activities and sports events. Regular classes will resume Monday, she said.