Attendance Was 50 Percent Lower Following East Aurora High School Threat

Bernie Tafoya
May 10, 2019 - 1:31 pm

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The threat that police deemed "not credible" affected attendance at East Aurora High School today. According to district 131 spokesman Tom Jackson, attendance was at 50 percent of the 3799 student enrollment.

Aurora Police Sgt. Bill Rowley said police began investigating the threat two and a half weeks ago when posts began appearing on social media with pictures purportedly of a bathroom stall at East Aurora High School with a threat of violence against students. May 10's date was mentioned in the threat.

"We don’t believe there’s any credible threat here. We would like to speak to the student who did this to see if we can get that firsthand, but so far we haven’t," said Sgt. Rowley.

Extra police were patrolling in and around the school and School District 131 said a beefed-up security plan has been put in place for the school for the rest of the year, including comprehensive searches.

Sgt. Rowley said there was a similar threat earlier this week at West Aurora High School and police figured out who made it. He said the student "admitted that it was meant to be a prank. We don’t know that’s the case here at East (Aurora HS), but we don’t want to take that for granted."

Besides regular street patrols paying extra attention to East Aurora High School, Sgt. Rowley said the Aurora PD's community policing unit was staffed in and around the school on Friday. 

District 131 issued a statement to WBBM Newsradio regarding the threat:

"The safety of our students and staff in all our schools is our number one priority.

"In response to the recent written threats, East Aurora High School has put in place a multi-faceted safety plan, not only for today, but for the remainder of the school year.

"Students and staff may see parts of this plan in action, including a more visible police presence inside and outside our school, to reassure students of their safety. This plan includes conducting comprehensive searches of the building.

"Our district administrators, led by Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Norrell, have remained vigilant, supporting and working alongside our high school staff.

"Our school day has begun, with students learning and without interruption. Our teachers are amazing. They have reported, ready to teach, and we actually have fewer teachers out today than at this time, last year. 

"We will take all necessary precautions to ensure we are educating our students in a safe environment."