Spike in school threats

Fear spreads as many schools in the community have undergone security lockdowns in recent weeks.


Claire Policht

Data according to Statista

On Oct. 21, Antioch Community High School received a call at approximately 1:30 P.M. from an unknown individual threatening the safety of the school. Students were held in their seventh-hour classes until the authorities identified that the threat was not active. Shortly after, students were escorted from their classrooms to the main gym and waited until it was deemed safe to leave the building.

“[Physical education teacher Hilary O’Donnell] told us to be quiet and run,” junior Sophie Debevec said. “I was genuinely scared because all the gym classes had no contact on what was going on.”

Peter J. Palombi middle school is located at 133 McKinley Ave, Lake Villa. On Nov. 11, Palombi was hosting a school dance when an unidentified juvenile claimed they had a gun. Police rushed to the scene, but no known threat was identified. Charlotte Banner, an eighth grader at Palombi, attended the dance and witnessed the events that occurred.

“I felt a little scared but also didn’t really believe it because threats like this had happened multiple times at Palombi,” Banner said.

On Nov. 16, Dean Kurt Sooley announced over the PA at the end fourth hour that off-campus lunch would not be taking place due to a possible shooting. The Antioch Police Department posted shortly after explaining that the shooting occurred in Antioch Manor Apartments; the man known as Rondel K. Jamison shot his mother’s boyfriend over a salad. After the threat was determined not active, off-campus lunch resumed for sixth hour.

According to Lake & Mchenry county scanner, Jamison was charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm, two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated domestic battery and felon in possession of a firearm.

Recent threats and shootings around the country have filled some students with fear, even causing some to not want to attend school. ACHS offers counseling to help students that have been affected by the threats.

Both D117 schools, ACHS and Lakes Community High School, follow precautions for when a school shooting occurs, known as the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) drill.

With ACHS being ALICE certified for less than six years, safety precautions for school intruders have evolved from previous methods of locking down and hiding in a corner from what they used to be as statistics for school threats continue to rise in the U.S.