East St. Louis, Cahokia schools go on soft lockdown over social media threat

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CAHOKIA, Ill. - East St Louis and Cahokia schools were placed on soft lockdown Thursday after someone threatened school shootings on Facebook.

Both districts increased patrols after they were notified of the social media post. Security was placed at every school and followed procedures for heightened security as police investigated the threat.

The threatening Facebook post reads as follows: "I will be shooting at Cahokia tomorrow morning this is no joke then coming to East Side."

"Society is getting scary when you look at all the violence, the threats," said Cahokia School District 187 Superintendent Art Ryan.

Ryan said he was notified by the Cahokia Police Department about the threat on Thursday. He then spoke with the East St. Louis superintendent and they agreed to increase police patrols and put the schools on a soft lockdown.

"It's disruptive to the schools, it sends more concern to parents, it gets everybody upset. If somebody thought this was funny. I don't know what the circumstances are, it's not funny, and it's very dangerous," Ryan said.

Because of the soft lockdown parents were allowed to pick their children up but no one was allowed inside the schools without proper identification and must be there for legitimate reasons.

"In light of the situation in Florida, I can certainly understand why many of our parents came to pick their kids up," Ryan said. "I guess it is better to be safe than sorry."

Authorities said the threatening Facebook post was shared multiple times.

"In light of the fact that the threat was made to go to every school in the district, the fact that it was made on Facebook giving people warning that's normally not the situation. People are looking to do something…we want to make precautions and we want to make kids safe. That's our number one priority," Ryan said.

The superintendent said police have not identified the individual that posted the threat. He's hopeful authorities will catch the person responsible and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

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