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Whitney Young H.S. implements metal detectors, searches in response to threat

Whitney Young Magnet High School, 211 S. Laflin St. | Sun-Times file photo

Whitney Young Magnet High School students will have to pass through metal detectors and will be subject to searches in response to a threat found Friday inside a bathroom stall.

The new security measures were detailed in an email sent to parents Monday by Principal Joyce Kenner.

“All students will go through metal detectors each day until further notice,” Kenner wrote in the email. “All student possessions are subject to be searched. Wednesday, December 5, 2018 will be declared as a ‘soft lockdown’ day.”

As part of the lockdown, students will not be permitted to go off campus for lunch and any student caught outside the building will be given a one-day, out-of-school suspension, according to Kenner. There will be a “heavy police presence” in and around the building’s and students will be required to use the school’s bridges “without exception” to travel to and from classes.

Students will also face suspension “if caught opening a door for anyone (this includes brother, sister, mother, father, etc.),” Kenner wrote.

“This is the only way we continue to keep our community safe,” Kenner added. “We are a family and this is our home away from home. Everyone must take ownership of their environment. We understand everyone has issues, but be mindful they can be resolved.”

The increased security was implemented after a threat reading “You will all pay 12/5” was found written in a boys’ bathroom stall on Friday, according to the email and a photo provided by Whitney Young parent JaNina Davis.

The message found at the Near West Side school was reported to administrators by a concerned student, according to CPS spokeswoman Emily Bolton.

“Student safety is the district’s top priority and all potential threats are taken very seriously,” Bolton said in a statement Sunday. “The district is working with CPD and will be providing extra security and vigilance as the investigation remains ongoing.”