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 go outside.

“[Gym 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 throwing a school dance when a student claimed they had a gun. Police rushed to the scene but no known threat was identified. Charlotte Banner, an eighth grader at Palombi J Middle School, attended the dance and witnessed the events that occurred on Friday, Nov. 11.

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

On Nov 16, ACHS told students that off-campus lunch would not be taking place because of a shooting nearby. The Antioch Police Department posted shortly after explaining that the shooting occurred in Antioch manner; 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 6th 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.

Schools in District 117 follow precautions for when a school shooting occurs, known as the ALICE drill. A stands for Alert; an initial alert may be a gunshot or an announcement over the loudspeakers. L stands for lockdown; If a class can not escape, the class will barricade itself in the classroom. I stands for Inform; at ACHS, the office communicates over the PA system about where the shooter is in the building, they are able to do this by looking at security cameras. C stands for Counter; as a last resort, students and staff can find objects to throw at the shooter such as scissors, books and chairs. E stands for Evacuate; when safe, run for an exit or even go out a window and go to the high school’s designated areas where students will be counted for attendance.

Safety precautions for school shootings have come a long way from what they used to be. It is important for these drills to keep evolving as threats keep occurring for the safety of students and faculty safe.