Many Quad Cities parents are on edge this week, as several local schools and police departments have been investigating threats of potential violence in six schools.
Just this week, there have been social media posts or threats regarding United Township High School, East Moline; Davenport North and West High; Moline High School; Wilson Middle School in Moline, and Bettendorf Middle School. There have been no injuries from the incidents.
“Just the fact that there have been 4-5 school threats in the area over the past few days, is scary enough! There have been no news reports on some of those schools such as Bettendorf Middle,” parent Melisa Myers posted on Facebook today. “As if it’s just being swept under the rug. There should be more reports and actions taken as preventative measures.
“Parents should be more aware that this is not only happening at one local school but several in such a short period of time,” she wrote. “Something isn’t right and something needs to be done to better protect our children.”
On Dec. 9, Moline High principal Trista Sanders emailed parents, noting that a generic, anonymous threat to the school was made on social media. The Moline-Coal Valley school district takes all threats seriously and is working closely with the Moline Police Department to identify the originator of the post, she said.
The investigation is underway, and the high school planned to have an increased police presence and enhanced security today, Dec. 10. “The safety of our students is always paramount and our top priority,” Sanders wrote.
On Dec. 8, the Moline-Coal Valley School District notified the Moline Police Department that a post on Snapchat contained a threat against Wilson Middle School in Moline. Within an hour, Moline Police Department Juvenile Detectives assigned as School Resource Officers in the school district conducted an investigation and identified a 13-year-old female student who had made the post.
Detectives interviewed the student, the family and searched school property including lockers. Further investigation was conducted at the student residence with the family members, who were fully cooperative. No weapons were located.
The investigation is still ongoing. The Moline-Coal Valley School District implemented safety plans and the student is not in the academic buildings pending further proceedings by the school. The Moline Police Department has referred the case to Juvenile Court Services for further evaluation in the juvenile justice system.
Both the police department and the school district take any threat against the safety of the student body or facilities very seriously. They will be investigated fully and dealt with through school discipline and/or the criminal justice system as appropriate.
The Moline Police Department says it has an excellent working relationship with the administration and staff at the schools in the district and are regularly in contact about any issues impacting public safety. Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities maintains several different platforms for reporting of tips anonymously.
On Dec. 9, the East Moline Police Department was notified of a shooting threat at United Township High School. The school resource officer who is assigned to U.T.H.S. was notified of the threat and immediately began an investigation into the incident, according to a Friday release.
Detectives interviewed all involved parties as well as searched the locker, belongings and residence of the student who was suspected of making the threat. No weapons were found during the search. The student was sent home with his parent. The threat was determined to be unfounded, police said.
The East Moline Police Department takes all threats against the safety of students and facilities very seriously, the release said, noting all threats will be investigated and dealt with through school discipline and or through the criminal justice system. The East Moline Police department has an excellent working relationship with the East Moline School districts and its administration and staff, the department said.
This week, Bettendorf parents were notified that the school district has received calls and emails concerning social media posts and rumors about Bettendorf Middle School.
“At this time, there is still no credible threat,” the district email said. “We appreciate our community’s advocacy for ensuring we maintain a safe school environment.”
The district administration and Bettendorf police investigate all concerns reported. “Although we cannot always share all the details of investigations, we can assure you that reported concerns are taken seriously and are immediately followed up by district administration and the police department,” the email said.
“Please remember that rumors and social media posts are not necessarily true,” the Bettendorf district wrote. “They are always investigated, and additional measures would be taken if they were deemed credible. We absolutely care about the safety of all our students and staff.”
An email was sent recently to Davenport West families about a post on social media that could be determined as a threat. They investigated and determined there was no credible threat to the school.
The Davenport Community School District takes all threats seriously and are working closely with Davenport police, the email said.
If you know of suspicious activity involving a school or any other crime, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 309-762-9500, or use the smartphone application P3 Tips. Additionally, Crime Stoppers has a smart phone app for students in all Quad Cities area schools called P3 Campus. All reports remain anonymous.