Lemont Police believe there is no credible threat to the message written in chalk outside the school and this could very likely be a prank. But nobody's laughing, especially the Lemont police chief. Anthony Ponce reports.
A south suburban elementary school remains on alert after a bomb threat was found written in chalk outside the school, authorities said.
Lemont Police said an officer patrolling Oakwood Elementary School on Sunday found a threatening message on a wall and on the sidewalk. The message said the school would explode Tuesday, police said.
Police searched the school and a neighboring school and found no evidence of a bomb. Parents have been notified, and officers will remain outside the school Monday and Tuesday.
Police believe there is no credible threat to anyone's safety and this could very likely be a prank. But nobody's laughing, especially the Lemont police chief:
"Now the day is disrupted, the school environment's been disrupted because maybe someone wanted to do a joke," Police Chief Kevin Shaughnessy said. "We don't find it funny."
Shaughnessy called whatever was written in chalk on the school "a violation to everyone here."
"She's a little scared," parent Carolin Frusher said of her daughter. "We had to explain it to her a little bit."
Police started the day by sweeping the entire school inside and out. The Cook County Bomb Squad brought in 4 K-9 units as an added precaution. A thorough sweep turned up "absolutely nothing," Shaughnessy said.
But since the bomb threat allegedly specified tomorrow, Tuesday, the anxiety isn't over for the 700 students and their families.
"I just talked to my husband," Frusher said. "We're thinking about what are our plans going to be for tomorrow."
While police believe there is no threat at Oakwood or any other school, they're not taking any chances for the next 24 hours.
"There will be a police presence," Supt. Dr. Susan Birkenmaier said. "Staff will be present and we'll do everything we can to make sure students are safe."