AURORA, Ill. — Police continue to investigate a shooting threat made towards West Aurora High School after nearly 3,700 students were held in their classrooms for a lockdown on Friday.
The school’s superintendent said someone AirDropped a picture of a gun inside a bathroom with specific threats towards the school’s community.
Police added that the picture did not originate in Aurora, and that the same picture was used for a threat in El Paso, Texas in February 2020.
“Someone deliberately took a photo from the internet, added text and then sent it around the school, causing panic through students, staff and families. This kind of conduct has to stop,” Aurora Police Chief Keith Cross said.
Schools across the country were on elevated alert Friday due to a TikTok trend that marked December 17 as “National Shoot Up Your School Day.”
Administrators believe some threats are a cry for help caused by pandemic anxiety. Dr. Jennifer Norell of East Aurora School District 131 added that the effects of the pandemic on children are seeing ramifications across the country.
The threats are felonies, with the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office pledging to prosecute any student or adult involved.
“The trauma that children suffer when they are told they have to hide because there is a potential threat is something that cannot be undone,” Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser said.