Parents criticized suburban school’s response to alleged ‘kill list’ threat

OAK LAWN, Ill. – Parents at a suburban school criticized school officials for their response of an alleged threat made by a student.

A freshmen at Oak Lawn Community High School admitted to making threats about a “kill list.” The student, who is a member of the varsity cheerleading team, said she made the threat in a group chat with friends. She said those friends were always joking and would never hurt anyone.

Superintendent Michael Riordan told WGN News the alleged threat was investigated, including interviewing the student in question. The school concluded no actual threat was found. The student made an inappropriate comment to a friend and that comment did not rise to the level of an actual threat.

A mother of two cheerleaders, who did not want to be identified, told WGN News she has serious concerns about the so-called “kill list.”

“To me, any threat should be taken seriously,” the mother said. “And it doesn’t seem to have been taken as seriously as it should have.”

The mother questioned the school’s response. She said two cheer coaches quit last week without notice, right after the alleged threat. One coach reportedly sent a text to the squad and said she quit because she couldn’t ensure their safety.

“The coach that worked with (the varsity team) completely deleted her social media and any way that anyone could contact her,” the mother said.

The mother was among a handful of parents that reached out to WGN News with concerns about the school’s response. They said they felt as though the school was “downplaying” the issue.

The school for its part praised the student for reporting the alleged threat, but said, at this point, there’s nothing further to investigate.