YOLO Threat Deemed Not Credible; Police Respond to Parent Call


Police responded on Nov. 20, 2019 to a 911 call falsely reporting an active shooter.

By Mateo Acosta, Editor in Chief

Monday’s social media threat has been deemed not credible by the Skokie Police, according to Dr. Karen Ritter’s Wed., Nov. 20 email to students. This news was also shared with parents and staff and posted on Niles West’s website.

“The Skokie Police Department has identified and interviewed the student who posted the original message, and the police have advised us that there is no evidence of a credible threat,” Ritter stated in the email.

Due to privacy laws, the student can not be identified by name, but an additional email from Ritter indicated the student “will not return to Niles West.”

Although the original threat was deemed not credible, students and parents continued to have concerns Wednesday. One parent called police after receiving a call from their child Wednesday afternoon, which prompted a police response to the school. According to Ritter’s email, the Skokie Police “investigated and determined there was no cause for concern.” She also indicated the parent call resulted from a miscommunication.

At 2:34 p.m., at the end of 8th period, Assistant Principal of Operations Steve Parnther made an announcement on the intercom indicating the police response was the result of a miscommunication. After the announcement, an email was sent to staff and students requesting them to “resume [their] day as usual.” The email also apologized for “stress this may have caused.”

“Hearing about the threat was scary because it was heavily circulated around Snapchat before [the situation] was [officially] addressed to the students. A lot of rumors were spread around as the administration was trying to figure out what was happening,” junior Humaira Iffath said.

Students who have seen the post are advised to show restraint on social media, as they may face consequences.

“Students who are posting, reposting, or indicating involvement in this threat may be subject to school discipline and legal consequences,” the email stated. All threats, even if students claim to be joking, will be taken seriously.

“I think that people need to stop joking around on social media and acting stupid,” junior Kevin Plach said.

Beginning tomorrow, students and staff will be allowed to enter through door 13 near the South Lobby and the Main Entrance only. IDs will also be checked, and students without IDs will be verified before gaining entrance to the school. ID checks will be an ongoing policy.

“It makes me really sad that this is the kind of thing that people need to worry about or be concerned about,” English teacher Sharon Swanson said.

Students with additional information or concerns should not hesitate to contact the Skokie Police Department at 847-933-TIPS (8477).