Twenty-five Lake Zurich Middle School South students stayed home today, stating a concern over safety, said Jean Malek, director of communications for Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95. Another 75 Lake Zurich High School students stayed home as well, for unstated reasons.
School officials and police say they investigated the incident which spurred concerns and that they are confident that there is no credible threat at the school. However, to assuage parents concerns, the Lake Zurich Police Department assumed a presence at all District 95 schools today.
“It was something the rumor mill got ahold of and, when that happens, it’s hard to stop,” Malek said.
“It takes on a life of its own, like this, because of social media. To calm fears, we have officers in the area at all schools,” Deputy Police Chief Kevin Finlon said.
A communication regarding the incident was sent to Lake Zurich High School and Lake Zurich Middle School South parents on Monday.
Concerns stemmed from an incident two weeks ago in which a high school student wrote graffiti on a desk that contained threatening language from a song and the date May 2, Malek said.
Upon discovery, LZHS deans and Detective Mike Parlberg, the Lake Zurich Police Department school resource officer, investigated the situation.
“The person responsible was identified and action was taken,” Malek said.
While the investigation concluded that there was no credible threat, rumors spread amongst students though social media, Malek said.
Later, a similar message was found on the bathroom wall at Lake Zurich Middle School South. Malek said it looked as if someone had copied it from a photo of the desk graffiti.
Further investigation showed there was nothing to corroborate any perceived threat, Malek said.
The second incident and the resulting rumors resulted in the school district sending a communication to parents.
“Some parents, understandably, take anything like school violence very upsetting and some people opted to keep their children home,” Malek said.
The communication ensured parents, "We will, as always, investigate any and all suspicious activity to continue maintaining a safe environment for our students and staff."