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Caller claimed a student had a gun
By Carissa Sitki
Jersey Community High School (JCHS) received an anonymous phone call around 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon, during which the caller stated that there was a student in the school with a gun.
In a letter sent to district parents, JCHS Principal, Dr. Jason Brunaugh stated that the caller said there was a student with a gun outside of the school’s cafeteria.
“The administration followed the Jersey CUSD 100 Safety and Crisis Management protocol where staff and students were put into a lockdown so local law enforcement could investigate the proposed threat,” said Brunaugh.
The Jerseyville Police Department (JPD) responded and determined that there was no threat.
“When we responded, we verified there was no immediate threat,” said JPD Chief Brad Blackorby. “There wasn’t a student with a gun.”
According to Brunaugh, once the building was deemed safe, the school day returned to normal.
“Once local law enforcement determined there was no threat, the lockdown ended and students returned to their normal routine,” said Brunaugh. “As always, we want to clearly communicate with parents/guardians about safety issues when they arise.”
Brunaugh’s letter continued, emphasizing that there was never a gun in the school and that no students were directly threatened during the incident.
Jersey CUSD 100 Superintendent Brad Tuttle elaborated on the nature of the call, stating that it came across with an out of state number and may be something referred to as “call spoofing.”
“Caller ID for the phone call showed a New Jersey phone number,” said Tuttle. “It appears that the call can be described as “call spoofing” which is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to the caller ID display to disguise their identity. At no time was there a gun at school or any threat to students today.”
Tuttle continued, encouraging parents to talk with their children about telling an adult if they have any concerns regarding weapons at school.
“Please emphasize with your students the importance of always telling an adult, teacher or a staff member if there is a potential threat or weapon at school,” said Tuttle. “Likewise, we encourage you to report anything of concern. In this way, we are all working together to keep our schools safe.”
During the Jerseyville City Council meeting on Tuesday evening, Mayor Billy Russel commended the Jerseyville Police Department for their response.
“Our officers responded appropriately and well and thankfully there was no tragedy,” said Russel. “We would like to thank our officers for the impact they have on the community.”
Blackorby said that the incident remains under investigation by the JPD at this time.