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Dear ETHS Families –

Last night there was concern in our school community over a screenshot image that was posted and shared rapidly on social media. The screenshot urged students not to attend school today, October 27, because there was a rumor that an ETHS student was allegedly “planning to shoot up the school.”

When school officials learned about the rumor, the school immediately notified the Evanston Police Department and an investigation was conducted to determine the accuracy of these allegations. After interviewing several people, the Evanston Police determined there were statements made by a student which caused concern among other members of the student body, but no actual plan to bring a gun into the school or “shoot up the school “ever existed. At no time was there a threat to the safety of any student or staff member at Evanston Township High School.

The school will take actions as warranted by district policies against the student making the false statements, as well as the student who posted the original screenshot on social media, which caused a disruption to the school day.

ETHS will be open as usual today and operate on a normal school day schedule.

Sincerely, 

Eric Witherspoon, Ph.D.

Superintendent

From the Evanston Police Department

At 10 a.m. on Oct. 27, Commander Joseph Dugan of the Evanston Police Department provided the following information about the investigation.””The detectives were able to track everyone down and turns out that it was a major misunderstanding.  Two female juvenile students were texting each other.  One had a test today that she was worried about taking.  The other was attempting to be sarcastic and lighten up the other’s mood and said something like, ‘Lighten up; you don’t have to worry about taking the test because XXX is going to shoot up the school.'””  “”The girl that received the text told someone, who told someone, who told someone, etc etc and word went out. Detectives interviewed everyone involved and turns out the original sender had no intention of making a threat or that there was a threat and was just trying to be sarcastic with her friend.  “”Because of the way it spread we have extra patrols in the area as some reassurance, but there was never an actual threat.””