CHICAGO (CBS) — Students at a Catholic elementary school on the Southwest Side will see additional security measures in place on Friday. The church pastor has received threats for attending the Jason Van Dyke murder trial.
St. Jane De Chantal School sent a letter home to parents informing them Father Ed Cronin received “a few threatening phone calls at the rectory regarding his speaking to the press.”
Cronin has told reporters he regularly prays with Van Dyke, who is one of his parishioners.
The school said that has angered some people enough to cause them to threaten the priest, who has been a daily fixture at Van Dyke’s murder trial in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Cronin has been seated next to a wheelchair-bound nun when they attend the trial.
Police confirmed they are watching the church and school around the clock after Cronin received the threats.
Armed guards are now escorting Cronin to court when he attends the trial.
The school principal wrote in the letter that outdoor recess has been cancelled until further notice. He also stated, when students arrive at school, they now are immediately being allowed inside the building.
More teachers have been asked to patrol the doors as students leave school at the end of the day.
The letter to parents said the new security measures might have to be enhanced next week, depending on the outcome of the trial. The defense is expected to wrap up its case next week, meaning the jury could begin deliberating shortly thereafter.
“You can expect an updated security plan at that time. Please be assured that your child’s security is our upmost concern,” the letter stated.