Student arrested after bomb threat at MHS

Steve Stein GateHouse Media Illinois

A 16-year-old Morton High School student was arrested May 21 after the high school went on lock down because of a written bomb threat.

Morton Police Chief Craig Hilliard said the student, who was booked on a charge of disorderly conduct, was referred to the Tazewell County Juvenile Probation Department for evaluation.

District 709 officials said administrators were made aware of the threat, written on a Post-It note on a classroom chalkboard, shortly after 10 a.m., and called for a lock down.

The lock down was lifted at about 11:15 a.m.

The student accused of making the threat was questioned and arrested as part of an investigation conducted by administrators and police.

Underclass students took final exams May 21  and May 22, the last day of the school year.

Graduation ceremonies were held May 19.

“A student made an unfortunate decision, and there will be consequences,” Superintendent Lindsey Hall said May 21 at a School Board meeting.

Hall praised high school secretaries for answering phones “that were ringing off the hook.”

The superintendent sent an email to district parents two hours after the lock down ended.

“The situation ended the best way possible,” she wrote.

“However, it is upsetting to go through a lock down and have a threat of violence so close to us. I want to commend the high school staff, students and Morton Police Department for everything that was done.

“The event showcased the professionalism, tact and calm demeanor of everyone involved.”

Parents were asked not to come to the high school during the lock down and they obliged.

Hall thanked them for their cooperation and assured them that decisions like those made May 21 are always made with the safety of students and staff as the top priority.