A viral Snapchat threat made against Central High School caused nationwide panic this week. The post did not specify to which Central High School it was referring, causing Central High Schools all over the country to go into lockdown, increase police presence, and investigate the source of the threat.
Champaign’s own Central High School was no exception. On Sunday night, parents and families of Central High School students were warned that there would be increased presence of police at the school on Monday, despite uncertainty that the post was referring to Champaign. Police determined that the threat was not targeting any specific school at all. A suspect in Missouri has been arrested in connection with the threat.
Unit 4 still did not treat the threat lightly. At the school board meeting on Monday, Unit 4 voted to move forward on a plan to hire seven new security guards for the rest of the school year through Chicago investigative company AGB. The plan is to have two guards at each high school and one at each middle school. This will cost the district over $500,000 to implement. Unit 4 has already worked with AGB to bring in temporary security guards in April, but are now seeking to make those guards permanent. The district plans to have both old and new officers trained on working in school settings. They will also have security guards receive a daily report from the principal as a form of evaluation.
In moving this plan forward, Unit 4 also considered concerns with incidents that have occurred at Centennial High School this year. Just a month ago, shots were fired outside of Centennial in the middle of the school day. There was also a recent unrelated incident in which a student was arrested for pulling out a gun during school. Police have also been called to the school multiple times because of fights.