Text threats made against Mascoutah High School; boy hospitalized

News-DemocratFebruary 4, 2014 

Police increased their presence at Mascoutah High School Tuesday morning as a precautionary measure following a threat made by a student Monday night, according to Mascoutah Police Chief Bruce Fleshren.

Fleshren, in a news release, said a 15-year-old male student who lives on Scott Air Force Base, had an extended text conversation with his 15-year-old girlfriend, who lives in New Baden.

"During that exchange, the male made references to killing everyone he knows and talking about killing people at school tomorrow (Tuesday)," Fleshren said. "There was no reference as to how this would be done, or weapons mentioned in the texts."

Mascoutah School District 19 Superintendent Craig Fiegel said a student "threatened to do some things" late Monday night, and police were notified and immediately launched an investigation.

"We don't know how credible it was," Fiegel said of the threat.

Mascoutah police contacted the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department to investigate. Sheriff's deputies located the juvenile male suspect and his parents.

The student, who was not identified, is now hospitalized, according to Fiegel. He described the extra police at the high school as a precaution. There is typically one resource officer assigned to the high school everyday.

Parents of Mascoutah High School students received an automated call regarding the threat at 7 a.m. Tuesday from Principal Sandy Jouglard. "The police have been investigating the situation," Jouglard said in her message to parents.

Fiegel explained the call to parents couldn't go out any sooner because police were still investigating the threat early Tuesday.

He said attendance is probably down slightly at the high school as a result of the threat and the inclement weather expected to arrive later Tuesday.

Fleshren said school officials will decide on punishment if the student returns, and the investigation will be reviewed by the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office for any possible charges.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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