A west suburban school district is increasing security in response to rumors of violence on the last day of the Mayan calendar, which also coincides with schools' last day before winter break.
Officials in Oswego District 308 said in a letter to parents and staff members that "student-initiated rumors" connected to the end-of-world prediction have circulated about school violence on or before Dec. 21.
"It has come to our attention that rumors have been circulating around our school community about December 21, our last day of school before winter break, and winter solstice, which marks the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar," it reads.
The letter urges parents to ask their kids about the rumors and encourages students to disclose reports of threats to parents, guardians and faculty. It also points to extra security over the next several days, noting that all threats are being investigated by school administration and the police.
"School safety is a priority for School District 308 and such rumors about a threat to our students and staff are taken seriously," the letter reads.
The rumors apparently circulated among buildings, from the district's high schools to junior high schools.
Officials say no evidence of an actual threat has been found, but Dec. 21 still will be approached cautiously.
"The media hype surrounding this date has resulted in predictions that include such things as a national power outage to the end of the world," the letter reads. "The same type of predictions have been made in the past, including events surrounding the transition to the Year 2000 and all that was predicted with Y2K. These situations resulted in anxiety, rumors and predictions prior to the actual date."