Police Investigation Reveals No Intended Threat of Harm towards Students

On Monday, November 13, 2017, Champaign Police responded to Centennial High School after being made aware that a student posted a suggestive threat on social media, allegedly aimed towards the school. Investigation into the incident revealed there was no credible threat, and that the post was intended as a joke towards other students.

The following information is shared as an update, and to bring awareness to the community partnership needs around social media posting and reporting.

Police investigations revealed that on Sunday, November 12, a student posted a photo of himself while engaged in target practice at a shooting range. A friend of the individual reposted that photo with added text for students ‘not to come to school tomorrow.’ From there, the photo was shared widely and reposted a number of times, with a variation of suggestive threats as well as unawareness of where the post originated.

Administrators at Centennial were alerted to the social media post on Monday morning and contacted Police. Additional Police staff were made available at the onset of the school day and one of the individuals in question was taken into custody for interview immediately upon arrival to school and parental contact. A second student in question was contacted at his home and also taken into custody for interview.

The investigation revealed no immediate threat and further review revealed no evidence of intended threat by the individuals involved. A 15-year-old male juvenile was arrested for Disorderly Conduct, with referral made to the Youth Assessment Center juvenile diversion program; and investigative findings were shared with the State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

During the investigation, Police and Unit 4 Officials learned of concerned students who saw the post on Sunday evening and did not attend school because of the potential threat; however, authorities were not alerted until shortly before the start of school on Monday. The Champaign Police Department, in partnership with Unit 4 Schools, is committed to providing a safe environment for all citizens, especially children in our community. This incident is a reminder to youth and families that Police count on the community’s partnership to immediately report incidents that may be alarming, or present potential threat, suspicion, or harassing behaviors. Parents/guardians are encouraged to talk with youth around social media accountability and the importance of reporting cautionary information to parents and/or authorities.