SKOKIE - A 14-year-old freshman at Niles West High School was arrested this week after an online encyclopedia alerted school officials to a threat allegedly posted by the teen.

The threat was submitted Sunday night or Monday morning to the Web site Wikipedia.com, and warned of violence at the school on Halloween, school district spokesman Jim Szczepaniak said.

Szczepaniak would not disclose details of the threat, but authorities were worried enough to take extra safety precautions on Tuesday.

"The person who posted the message faces some very serious potential legal consequences and I think it's a very strong message to get across to students - that posting threats is not acceptable behavior," he said.

On Tuesday morning, the 2,600 students at the school 14 miles northwest of Chicago had their bags and purses searched and had to pass through hand-held metal detectors.

In a statement released Monday, Skokie police said the threat wasn't "viable," but the teen, who was taken into custody Monday evening, was referred to juvenile court for a felony disorderly conduct charge.

"The Skokie Police Department takes all threats seriously and will continue its policy of seeking full prosecution of any and all similar incidents," Sgt. Scott Anderson said in a statement.


Load comments