Reported safety threat at Taft High School found to be ‘non-credible’ following investigation, officials say
by BRIAN NADIG
Recent reports about a safety threat at Taft High School have been found to be “non-credible” following an investigation into the matter, principal Mark Grishaber wrote in a letter today to parents.
Discussions about the reported incident have appeared on several social media platforms.
Early Monday a Taft student reported to police that her friend had sent her a text message about another student who was “making some sort of list for tomorrow” as part of a potential threat to the school, according to police.
At about 8:40 a.m. Monday, Grishaber wrote the following to parents: “Over the weekend we were made aware that a member of our school community had made a social media post that contains language that resembles a potential threat against our school. We have notified the CPS Office of Safety and Security to investigates the threat with the Chicago Police Department. I will provide an update once the investigation is complete.”
At about 1:30 p.m. today, Grishaber sent a follow-up letter to parents, describing the reported threat as non-credible. “There is no safety threat to our school, and all of our students and staff are safe,” he wrote.
Grishaber added, “I understand that this situation has been extremely concerning to our school community and that rumors have been circulating about additional safety threats to our school. While I cannot discuss further details about this situation for privacy reasons, I want to make it clear that safety will always be our top priority and we take every safety concern extremely seriously.
“As a reminder, whenever we are made aware of a potential safety threat related to our school, we notify the Office of Safety and Security so the threat can be properly investigated with the support of CPD.”
The letter also included the following:
“While there is no safety threat to our school, we are taking the following steps to ensure students and staff feel safe at Taft:
- We will reinforce our regular screening of students before they enter our school building.
- Today, we are holding conversations with representatives of our student body to hear any safety concerns that remain. We are using these discussions as the foundation of ensuring that all students feel safe and supported while at Taft.
- Our security team and the rest of our staff will continue to support our efforts to create a safe learning environment for all students.
- Our efforts will also incorporate our partnership with CPD. We currently have four CPD school resources officers present, two school resource officers on each campus, to support the safety of our school community.”
There are reports that a student walkout regarding safety issues is planned for Thursday, March 9.
“To prepare for the possibility of a walkout tomorrow, we are working with student leaders, the Office of Network Supports, and the CPS Office of Safety and Security to help make sure all of our students are safe,” Grishaber said.
A Taft parent said that the school waited too long — more than 48 hours — to give an update on the potential threat, adding that the school has an overall “lax approach” to safety. She said that the Taft needs to better monitor and secure all doors to the school, as some students “enter and exit the building freely.”
The parent said that despite Taft being a closed campus, some students hang out during the school day at Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma Ave.