URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The Urbana Police Department announced on Friday that another threat has been directed toward Urbana High School.
In response, the school district will move learning for Monday and Tuesday of next week online ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday break.
The threat made on Friday is the latest in a string of threats Urbana Police called “terroristic” that the school received over the last two weeks. The threats started the morning of Monday, Nov. 7, when an unknown caller threatened to shoot and kill students and staff. School was canceled for the day before students could arrive.
When the students came back to school the Wednesday after Election Day, which was a previously scheduled day off, an identical threat was made. As students were already in class and with Urbana Police officers present, the decision was made to place the school on a soft lockdown.
The threats continued on Tuesday of this week when a staff member received a threatening email that night. School was held the following day on a soft lockdown until another threatening email from the same source prompted a hard lockdown for a few hours.
Instruction on Thursday and Friday was shifted from in-person to online in response to Wednesday’s threat. With this latest threat on Friday from the same email source as before, instruction will remain online for Monday and Tuesday of next week.
All of the threats are being jointly investigated by Urbana Police and the FBI, who believe the threats are part of a larger national trend. While investigators believe students and staff were not in immediate danger on any of the days threats were received, they said authorities will assess all matters related to safety concerns in schools based on the information at hand and based on the circumstances.
Parents are encouraged to continue to check their email inboxes for updates from the school district.
Urbana Police asked anyone with information about these threats to contact them at 217-384-2320. Arrangements can be made for this information to be shared in private.
Alternatively, people with information who wish to remain anonymous can submit a tip to Champaign County Crime Stoppers using one of three methods: calling 217-373-8477, visiting Crime Stoppers’ website or using the P3 Tips app.
Crime Stoppers will reward tips that result in an arrest in this case with up to $1,000.