Submitted by the Evanston Police Department
On Feb. 21, 2023, at approximately 12:50 p.m. the Evanston Police Department received a text-a-tip about an ETHS student posing with a gun in a social media post. The student captioned the post with “can’t wait 4 eths 2 blow up”. An Evanston Police School Resource Officer (SRO) investigated.
The investigation led to the identity of the student. The ETHS Safety Staff made contact with the student, a 14-year-old male resident of Evanston, and took him to a dean’s office. There the student and safety staff met with the SRO. The SRO learned the handgun was not real. The “prop” gun in the post was from an ETHS classroom and was being used for an English lesson about Romeo and Juliet.
The student was transported to the Evanston Police Department for further investigation. The student did not provide a statement of his intention behind the post. The student was referred to juvenile court for disorderly conduct.
ETHS students can report information about criminal activity, potential violence or unsafe situations by utilizing Acknowledge, Care, Tell steps. Community members can utilize EPD’s Text-A-Tip. To begin your tip message, enter the number “274637” (CRIMES) and then start your message with EPDTIP.
There have been 366 school shootings since Columbine in 1999 One third of those have been committed by students 15 and younger. There have been enough learning opportunities. This teenager made a direct threat “ can’t wait 4 ETHS 2 blow up “ posing with a gun and adults are pointing out it was a prop gun. With this going on in his mind I can guarantee he s not thinking about Shakespeare
WHY was any prop gun being used in a classroom to begin with? I read R&J as a freshman at ETHS, and I do not believe there is any reason to use such a prop. To me, it seems like that particular teacher did not use the best judgement with their lesson plan. Additionally, a 14-year-old kid posing on social media with a gun, toy ot not, is reason for concern, especially given the message posted with the post. I agree with Mary Alice.
Court for a toy? WTF is wrong with Evanston officials, school personnel and police.
What about the adult who allowed a prop gun to be in classrooms? Why is a 14 year old child being lead out of our schools in handcuffs even as the must have known by this point that is was not real. Why hand cuff a child? Why is this so hard for us to treat these situations with humanity. This is situations was caused by an adult and only a child was carted out of the school in handcuffs and that is simply wrong!
Kennedy, Kristen and Karla , This is a fourteen year old boy who posted “can’t wait 4 ETHS 2 blow up” Does anyone over the age of 7 not realize the consequences of talking about guns? You would have to be living under a rock to be unaware And are there ANY consequences or should we just accept guns being brought to school like the incident at Chute! Ok in this case making a threat
Mary Alice Off – Did you see the part where that gun “was being used for an English lesson about Romeo and Juliet.” An ADULT put that gun into the classroom… why was that ADULT not taken away in handcuffs. What that kid did was dumb AF…but the kid was not the source of the problem here…. but the kid was the only one taken away in handcuffs. I mean defend it how you like…but the school to prison pipeline couldn’t be clearer when we are seeing one set of consequences for the youth and a different set for the adults involved.
Interesting that you immediately jump to “are there ANY consequences?” when folks suggest that a child should not be arrested for handling a prop gun (that was brought into the school by an adult, BTW), and making a poor decision… because he’s 14 and kids sometimes mess up.
I didn’t suggest no consequences. I said the kid should not have been removed from school in handcuffs. There should be ZERO arrest and ZERO court involvement. This could have been a learning opportunity… for all involved. Instead, it’s a whole lot of trauma.
Trying to figure out why a 14 year old CHILD was transported out of school and to a police station AFTER the police **knew** that this was a prop gun. Also wondering where the accountability is for the ADULT who brought the prop into school in the first place.