Parents concerned about threats made against Michiana schools - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Parents concerned about threats made against Michiana schools

Posted:

Many parents have contacted FOX28 after hearing about a threat against students at local schools.

Elkhart Police say the threat was made anonymously and threatened violence at schools in Elkhart and Saint Joseph Counties on April 15. Elkhart Police say they have notified schools in their community, along with other area police departments, about the threat, and are putting together an action plan.

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Departments said Tuesday they plan to increase their presence at schools as a result of the threat. In a statement, Sheriff Brad Rogers says the department is taking the threat seriously and is working with school officials and other law enforcement agencies to provide additional security and safety for students.

Doug Thorne with Elkhart Community Schools tells FOX28 they take every threat seriously. They're drafting a letter about this threat to send home with students Wednesday.

Phil Trent, spokesperson for the South Bend Police Department, says the threat is very broad and lacks specificity. Even though it lacks specifics, Trent says the department will "act prudently" on the threats.

In a written statement, South Bend School Superintendent Carole Schmidt said the district is aware of the threat. "Although we are troubled to learn of this threat of violence, it also provides us with the opportunity to help our children understand and remind them that we do everything we can to keep them safe at school and home," said Schmidt.

Schmidt said the district works closely with South Bend and Saint Joseph County police and fire departments for many types of emergencies and regularly practices safety procedures with students and staff.

Elkhart Police and the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department say people in their community with questions about the threat should contact the department.

Meanwhile, talk at Osolo Little League wasn't just about taking swings Tuesday evening. Parents are taking about a threat that's crossed county lines.

"The immediate response was pretty much panic, like disbelief that this was coming to our area," says Jeff Hashberger, whose children attend Mary Feeser Elementary.

Terry Wood whose child attends St. Thomas says, "I'm concerned. My kids' safety is the most important thing to me."

Some parents say principals told them about the threat, but are upset that they first found out about it online or on Facebook.

Jeff says,"Even an impromptu meeting with parents to address all that's going on," says Hashberger.

Elkhart Community Schools says since society has changed the way we communicate, threats can really take off.

"Because of social media, word spreads like wildfire. One person communicates that something has happened, or is going to happen and now everyone is convinced that because it's on social media, that something's gonna happen," says Executive Director of Personnel and Legal Services, Doug Thorne.

The district says that doesn't mean it's not taking the threat seriously.
Administrators say proper precautions will be in place, they'd just rather keep their exact plan of action close to their chest.

"We try not to share a great deal of detail about what we're doing, not because we're (not) concerned about our parents, but obviously we don't want to be informing the bad guys of our plans so that they know that the key's under the mat," says Thorne.

While some feel a little better that officers will be on school property Monday.

"He'll be going to school. I'm concerned, but I'm not going to let him live in fear," says Wood.

Others, will keep kids on a very close watch.

"Both of them stayed home today and we do plan on keeping them home until some security changes have taken place at Mary Feeser," says Hashberger.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Drinking water concerns for Granger and Gilmer Park addressed at a meeting Wednesday

    Drinking water concerns for Granger and Gilmer Park addressed at a meeting Wednesday

    Nitrates, nicotine, deet, and other toxins were discovered in St. Joe County water in December 2013, following a year-long study. Northeast Granger and Gilmer Park on the south side of South Bend are the areas affected by the contamination. The county health department points to septic systems as the cause for the problem. A group of experts met Wednesday night just to lay-out the first steps in cleaning up the drinking water. St. Joe County's Environmental Health Director, Marc Nelson, says ...More >>
    Nitrates, nicotine, deet, and other toxins were discovered in St. Joe County water in December 2013, following a year-long study. Northeast Granger and Gilmer Park on the south side of South Bend are the areas affected by the contamination. The county health department points to septic systems as the cause for the problem. A group of experts met Wednesday night just to lay-out the first steps in cleaning up the drinking water. St. Joe County's Environmental Health Director, Marc Nelson, says ...More >>
  • Councilman Derek Dieter calls for clearer Council policy on medical leave

    Councilman Derek Dieter calls for clearer Council policy on medical leave

    Officials say South Bend Common Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. is midway through his first week on medical leave, but the specifics of why he's out are unclear. He hasn't spoken publicly. Instead, all we have to go on is an email he sent the council president saying he needs to concentrate on his health. His request came a little over a week after his DUI arrest. Councilman Derek Dieter wants the full council to meet and clarify the leave of absence process.More >>
    Officials say South Bend Common Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. is midway through his first week on medical leave, but the specifics of why he's out are unclear. He hasn't spoken publicly. Instead, all we have to go on is an email he sent the council president saying he needs to concentrate on his health. His request came a little over a week after his DUI arrest. Councilman Derek Dieter wants the full council to meet and clarify the leave of absence process.More >>
  • Reviving The Park: A FOX28 Special Report

    Reviving The Park: A FOX28 Special Report

    They call it a labor of love. A big piece of Michiana history, sat vacant for decades. Now, dedicated volunteers are working to bring it back to life.More >>
    They call it a labor of love. A big piece of Michiana history, sat vacant for decades. Now, dedicated volunteers are working to bring it back to life.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.