Urbana High School in lockdown again amid ongoing threats

By Jessie Wang, Staff Writer

Last night, a staff member at Urbana High School received an email from an unidentified source. The email, now under investigation, threatened violence toward a teacher and students. 

UHS was placed in soft lockdown on Tuesday morning, but after additional threats were made hours later, the district was placed on hard lockdown, according to Criminal Investigations Division Commander Michael Cervantes with the Urbana Police Department. By Tuesday afternoon, the school transitioned back to a soft lockdown.

Sydney Sadler, a senior in LAS and Education is a student observer at UHS. As of noon, the building was still in lockdown, she said.

“Unfortunately to say, I think a lot of these kids are kind of used to it,” Sadler said. “They don’t look visibly worried.”

Teachers have been trying to make things feel as normal as possible, too, despite these lockdowns happening on a nearly daily basis, she said.

“The culture is that (teachers are) trying to be as calm about it as possible,” Sadler said. “They’re trying to make sense of it in a way that doesn’t make (students) panic every single time.”

Sadler said she doesn’t have experience in these situations, but that she feels safe in the classrooms.

Today, in a mass email sent out at 8:08 a.m, Urbana School District #112 Superintendent Jennifer Ivory-Tatum said that out of caution, UHS was placed in soft lockdown after collaboration with the Urbana Police Department, the FBI and school resource officers. 

This incident marks the third occurrence of threats against UHS in the last two weeks. 

Last Monday, UHS and Urbana Middle School canceled classes after a possible shooting and bomb threat from a phone call. Last Wednesday, UHS received the same threatening phone call as before and the district was placed on soft lockdown. 

“The Urbana Police Department is working cooperatively not only with the school district but also with the FBI and trying to figure out who’s responsible for this,” Cervantes said. 

 

[email protected]