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Bomb threat that prompted evacuation of Waukegan middle school unfounded

Abbott Middle School | Google Maps

Students at a Waukegan middle school were evacuated for over two hours Wednesday morning when school officials were alerted to a bomb threat that was later deemed unfounded after a search of the school.

The threat to Abbott Middle School was received shortly after 7 a.m., forcing students to wait at nearby Waukegan High School Washington Campus while police and fire officials from the northern suburb swept the building for explosives, according to a statement from Waukegan Community Unit School District 60.

Waukegan Police Commander Joe Florip declined to offer specifics about the nature of the threat.

“We treated it like all bomb threats – we responded, conducted a search of the building, and the results were negative,” Florip said.

School officials were tipped off to the threat by an online risk monitoring system that sends an alert when “certain keywords are used by student devices,” according to Nicholas Alajakis, a spokesman for the school district.

Alajakis would not provide information about the source of the threat. However, he said the suspect or suspects would likely “face discipline from the school district and potentially law enforcement, depending on the severity of the threat.”

The police department and school district are investigating.