Niles West High School Principal Karen Ritter sent the following note to Niles West parents and families at approximately 6 p.m. on November 20, 2019 to update them on a social media threat.
Dear Niles West Parents and Families,
I am writing to update you again about the social media incident this week. Please know that my intent is to be as transparent as possible to address your concerns, but also understand that there are details that I am not able to share concerning minors.
Concerning the original Yolo message, the threat is not credible. With the student’s parent consent, I can share with you that the student who posted that message will not be in attendance for the rest of the week and will not return to Niles West.
We take all threats seriously and notified students that they may receive disciplinary and/or legal consequences by sharing, responding to, and reposting the message. Today, a student replied to the original message which caused Skokie Police to investigate as a result. We want to reiterate that students should not repost/share/reply to such messages in any event. Students should instead refer concerning messages to the deans immediately.
Finally, there was a miscommunication from a parent to the Skokie Police Department, which caused a police response to the building. The police investigated and determined that there was no cause for concern.
We will continue our increased police presence this week as a precautionary measure. Additionally, administrators will be present at student entrances in the morning. Beginning tomorrow and moving forward, as part of our increased security measures, we will ask students to present their ID as they enter the school.
As always, the safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter. We understand the stress that these events cause, and our Student Services team is ready to provide support to all of our students.
We encourage all of Niles West students, staff, parents, and community members to say something if they see something. Our safety is a collective responsibility. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. Outside of school hours, please call the Niles West security desk at (847) 626-2842, which is available 24/7. In addition, you can call the Skokie Police Tipline at (847) 933-8477 (TIPS).
Dr. Karen M. Ritter
Niles West Principal