CHICAGO (CBS) — Argo Community High School postponed its graduation ceremony planned for Tuesday evening with just hours’ notice, after threats were made to the school over the past 48 hours.
A threat to the school was originally made on Sunday on Snapchat, stating, “For those who think I’m scared I myself will be shooting every class at Argo Community High School so if you come you are a target if you don’t you are a lucky son of a b***h have a blessed day f*****s.”
The school posted a message on Facebook that night, advising parents of plans to increase security.
“Though the message does not specifically indicate tomorrow [May 20] in the threat, we are increasing police presence and security at all entrances and in the building in the morning and throughout the day,” the Facebook post stated.
The school was placed on a soft lockdown on Tuesday after additional threats were made.
“The police are looking into a statement that was just brought to our dean’s attention that followed from the original threat message on Sunday,” the school said in a statement.
School officials alerted the school community in a Facebook post that a threat to the school was sent through Snapchat. The threat was to shoot every class at Argo.
After the ceremony was already canceled, the school released a statement Tuesday night saying it determined the juvenile who made the second threats lives in Joliet and has no real connection to the school.
Senior Rachel Alber, like so many others, was supposed to walk across the stage to graduate, but instead Summit police were keeping watch out front of the building. She said she saw the original Snapchat post threatening to shoot up the school.
“It’s a horrible joke to make, if it even is a joke, and a threat is a threat,” Rachel said.
The student who made the threat was identified and arrested on Monday, but the school was placed on soft lockdown on Tuesday and the graduation ceremony was postponed after additional threats were made.
“There’s a huge sense of frustration, and again you think back to your own graduation and what a wonderful celebratory time it was,” said Rachel’s mother, Nita Alber. “I want the best thing for my daughter. I want the best thing for these kids, and I believe the school has taken that into consideration.”
Aquila Shelby’s family traveled from all over to see her son, Quincy, graduate.
“The last few day have been hectic,” she said. “I think they made an excellent decision. I just think they should’ve made it maybe sooner.”
“I think at this point they can just mail me my diploma,” said student Quincy Cobbs.
The school sent out a Facebook message Tuesday night telling parents the threat was not credible and reminding them to discuss the consequences of these types of threats.
“I don’t want my daughter looking back and telling her kids, ‘Yeah, you know when I graduated there was a gun threat,” Nita Alber said.
School officials have not yet released the new graduation date but said the “rescheduled ceremony will be communicated to senior families as soon as possible.”
Charges are pending against the two juveniles in custody.