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Police say Hart student’s alleged threats considered unfounded

Threats against students at James Hart School in Homewood may have been posted online in jest, but they were taken very seriously by the Homewood Police Department and District 153 school officials.
On the evening of Friday, Aug. 25, police said a Hart student saw comments on social media made by another student that allegedly was a threat to do harm on Monday, Aug. 28, against students at the school. The student who read the comments told his parents about it. They in turn contacted police.
Police reported officers took the student in question into custody. After investigating the alleged threat and speaking with the student who was on social media, police released the student to his parents. 
Police concluded there was no threat at this time, according to a statement from Hart Principal Scott McAlister, but the Homewood Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit is collaborating with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office – Juvenile Division for appropriate charges and/or restorative justice.
James Hart School serves sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Neither police nor the school district released information on the student.

McAlister’s statement was sent to the District 153 community via email and text on Saturday, Aug. 26.

“This event is an excellent reminder that at no time should any student make any type of comment that could be construed as a threat, whether said in jest or not,” McAlister said in his statement to parents. “We will take all threats as serious in nature and will take all precautions to ensure that our students and staff are safe at all times.  
“It is also an excellent example of how we count on all of our students to report anything they hear that gives them cause for concern.  Collectively, all of us in the Homewood School District 153 family must work together to make sure our schools are places of learning, where respect for one another is paramount,” he said. “We appreciate all that you as parents and guardians do to help us in this endeavor.”

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