Fake active shooter threats reported at more than 20 schools across Illinois, including Whitney Young High School

The so-called “swatting” incidents targeting schools have been a growing problem since last fall when schools in 14 states reported them.

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Whitney Young Magnet High School, located in the Near West Side neighborhood, was among more than 20 schools across Illinois targeted by fake threats

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times file

Whitney Young High School on the Near West Side was among more than 20 schools across Illinois targeted by fake threats of an active shooter Wednesday morning.

“Responders have not located any actual threats as a result of these calls,” the Illinois state police said in a statement. “The ISP Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center currently has no information concerning credible threats related to school safety.”

The so-called “swatting” incidents targeting schools have been a growing problem since last fall when schools in 14 states — Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — reported them.

Among the schools hit Wednesday was Whitney Young High School at 211 S. Laflin, where officials said a 911 call was made in the morning saying an active shooter was inside the school building. Chicago police responded and determined the call was “made as a prank,” according to school officials.

Students were about to sit for the SAT at the school, which proceeded as scheduled, officials said.

Rockford East High School was placed on lockdown after an active shooter threat was called in just after 8:30 a.m., according to the district’s Facebook page. Police determined the threat was also a hoax.

All classes were canceled for the day. Juniors were scheduled to take the SAT but it was scheduled for a later date.

Freeport High School also reported getting a “prank phone call” on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, FHS was part of a nationwide trend,” the school district said in a statement. ”The call indicated that there was a real emergency when in fact there was not. Just to be safe, the police walked the building with multiple squads responding.”

Other communities reporting threats on Wednesday were: Champaign, Aurora, Carbondale, Murphysboro, Mount Vernon, Vienna, Dixon, Decatur, Granite City, Collinsville, Centralia, Bloomington, Jacksonville, Peoria, Pittsfield, Eldorado, Springfield and Marion.

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