PROPHETSTOWN – A Prophetstown High School special needs student spoke to others about causing violence today, but after an investigation, police say the school is safe.
In a lunchtime conversation Tuesday, the boy told other students about his plan for violence, Chief Michael Fisk said Thursday. They immediately disclosed the conversation to school officials, who called police, he said.
Fisk wouldn’t reveal the nature of the threat, but he said the police have determined the boy had no access to weapons.
“When parents raise kids with special needs, they know what to do. Some parents don’t have knives in their house,” Fisk said. “They know the boundaries of what they can have in their homes.”
Police have not charged the boy, who continues to attend school.
“There are kids with special needs who say things they don’t mean,” the chief said.
Prophetstown High School is unique in that students have a lot of trust in the administration, so they are likely to reveal any threats they hear, said the chief, adding that he speaks with the principal daily.
Fisk said he would be on campus today – the day of the planned violence – to “calm any nerves.”
“I want to dispel any rumors that there are any threats,” he said. “My biggest fear is a vigilante student coming into the school with a gun wanting to be a superhero and getting on CNN. The school is safe.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the district sent out text and voicemail alerts about the situation to those signed up for the alert system.
“PLT3 staff & police have investigated a threat made by a PHS student. PLT3 has taken all precautions to ensure the safety of our students,” the text reads.
Superintendent David Rogers said the district expected a “fair amount” of calls Thursday morning about the alerts. As it turned out, he said, few called.