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‘Unspecified threat’ puts Morrison High School on soft lockdown

MORRISON – Morrison High School was put on soft lockdown Wednesday morning after staff was notified of an anonymous threat made against a student.

Police were called at about 10:30 a.m. and the decision to restrict access in and out of the school was made shortly after.

“There was an unspecified threat made toward a specific student, and I’d probably call it more of a comment than a threat,” Police Chief Brian Melton said. “The school’s response was to institute the soft lockdown.”

The comment that caused concern came up in conversation between friends; social media wasn’t involved. Students then made school administration aware of the situation.

“We don’t know yet if the comment came from one of our students because it was anonymous,” Superintendent Scott Vance said. “A message was sent to a student and there was a conversation between two individuals – one who was a Morrison student.”

The Morrison student then brought the situation to the attention of the high school principal. Police talked to students, but were gone by early afternoon. It was determined there was no viable threat and the lockdown was lifted before school was dismissed.

A soft lockdown at Morrison restricts access, but students could leave if parents came to pick them up. To his knowledge, no one left the school early, Vance said.

“We just tried to keep the kids out of the hallways and restrict who was coming and going,” Vance said.

Morrison doesn’t have a school resource officer or any security presence at the high school, but it is exploring the possibility.

“We have had informal discussions with the police department about bringing in a resource officer,” Vance said.

Although that conversation is in the early stages, a proposed police tax levy increase could help determine what happens. Melton has requested the levy increase to bring back an officer position the department lost 8 years ago.

If the department is able to bring back a seventh full-time officer, it’s likely school detail would become part of the job, Vance said.

Police were certain that the incident was unrelated to the shooting Wednesday morning at Dixon High School.

Police wouldn’t discuss the exact nature of the threat.

“It was a very specific comment, but it hasn’t been verified,” Melton said.

When asked if anyone has been brought in for questioning regarding the comment, Melton said only that the investigation is ongoing.

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