Illinois schools ranked 3rd in nation for violent incidents, threats
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
A new report shows Illinois schools ranked third highest in the nation for violent incidents or threats in September.
The report conducted by the Educator’s School Safety Network focuses on 20 days in September.
During that time, there were nine violent threats or violent incidents reported in schools throughout the state.
This report doesn't include the four bomb threats that came in on one day at District 186 in October.
The trend has some parents worried.
Melissa Remolina's son is a sophomore at Southeast High School in Springfield. Remolina said she was shocked to learn there have been so many threats and incidents at Illinois schools.
“You know, I really hope that the whole city of Springfield can work together both with our 186 schools, parochial schools and outlying schools to again come up with ways we can help kids build relationships with adults and their peers," Remolina said.
An analysis of the 2016-2017 school year ranked Illinois seventh in the nation for the total number of violent school threats.
The report found 92 threats were made and five actual violent incidents were carried out.
Sangamon County State's Attorney John Milhiser said police work closely with schools to help faculty and staff learn how to respond to school threats.
I know at District 186, they train their faculty, they train their administrators to deal with these situations, and it’s not only the bomb threats,” Milhiser said. “We’ve had reports of fights in schools, a gun in a school.”
Milhiser said his office takes bomb threats in particular very seriously.
"The message is clear. If you're going to act in this type of criminal behavior, you’re going to be prosecuted,” Milhiser said. “Especially when you’re talking about bomb threats, that is a very serious offense. "
Educator’s School Safety Network, the agency who released the reports, said they believe their statistics are significantly under reported. But they said the report indicates Illinois has a school safety concern that needs to be addressed.