District 186 evaluates bomb threat protocols
Four District 186 schools were evacuated Thursday following a bomb threat.
These schools include Southeast High School, Springfield High School, Lanphier High School, and Franklin Middle School.
This was the sixth bomb threat for District 186 schools this academic year.
School officials said there is a strict protocol for handling these events.
"We lay of protocols for every school in the district," said Jason Wind, with District 186.
These protocols go into place immediately following a threat, as well as local law enforcement responding immediately.
"It's one of our high priority calls, so we'll immediately start dispatching," explained Commander Don Mummaw, with the Springfield Police Department.
Each time a District 186 school is evacuated, school officials meet to discuss what went well and what didn't.
"Unfortunately this year we've had more opportunity than not to practice our plan, but in that practice, we've found issues in the plan including communication with families and reuniting the families," said Wind.
In order to reduce any issues, District 186 updates their plan on a constant basis.
Law enforcement said after the first incident at Springfield High this year, they met with school officials and worked to better the action plan.
Officers said that was evident in Thursday's evacuations, due to how smooth everything went.
Parents said they were pleased with how the schools have handled the unfortunate events.
"For the most part everyone says it was the most orderly evacuation ever," said Melissa Albanese, the mother of a Franklin Middle School student.
School officials said a large number of threats seen this school year is unprecedented and these threats are extremely rare, they also said it is vital people realize making a bomb threat is a serious offense.
"These things go to law enforcement and as we saw yesterday with our State's Attorney Office and police department, they are taking these threats seriously, they want them to end and we want them to end," said Wind.
Law enforcement said making a false bomb threat could result in a felony and they will prosecute anyone responsible.