Social media post heightens security at Du Quoin schools - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Social media post heightens security at Du Quoin schools

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DU QUOIN-- School continued as normal Monday after a post on social media was reported to authorities Sunday. That post had local authorities and administration more vigilant to start off the school week.

The post made reference to a school shooting and led to concerns throughout the community.

"Those kinds of things have to be taken seriously. We can't just let those things go," Du Quoin Police Chief Leslie Vancil said.

Du Quoin Police arrested a 17-year-old boy for what is being called a vague threat.

The Du Quoin CUSD #300 administration released a statement saying they take any and all threats toward the schools seriously and have handed the matter over to the police and Perry County State's Attorney.

Du Quoin Police Chief Leslie Vancil said the safety of the students is his department's top priority.

"This may have just been something somebody was having fun or joking with," Chief Vancil said, "You don't joke about hurting people."

Because of the post, there was a heightened police presence at both of the District's buildings, proving just how impactful social media and modern technology can be.

Chief Vancil said the post made a reference to the Sandy Hook shooting and with the shooting in Marshall County still fresh on the minds of many, it can't be taken lightly.

"You just never know who that individual may be, what their mindset may be, what their skill-set may be or what resources they have available to them to carry something like that out," he said.

Chief Vancil said within two hours of being notified of the post, officers with the department had already made contact with the student and took him to a juvenile detention center. 

Vancil warns social media isn't private and what you say can quickly have an impact.

"When you put those things out there…. even if it has a smiley face next to it… somebody might take that the wrong way and take it as a direct threat," he said, "People are going to protect themselves."

The student is charged with a count of Disorderly Conduct, a Class 4 Felony. The case is now being handled by the Perry County State's Attorney's Office.

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