Sterling police: Boy facing felony after threatening school violence

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STERLING – A school threat involving weapons that was sent from one student to another via social media Sunday has resulted in the sender being charged with felony disorderly conduct and undergoing a mental health exam, police said in a news release Monday morning.

Police were notified at 9:46 p.m. The boy who sent the message, who is younger that 16, was found at home immediately, and the threat to schools in Sterling and Rock Falls was deemed not credible, the release and Deputy Chief Pat Bartel said.

The boy did not have access to any of the weapons implied in the threat, and his parents cooperated with the investigation, the release said.

No specific information on the threat was provided.

Disorderly conduct involving a threat to a school carries up to four years in a juvenile detention center, or until the person convicted turns 18, and a fine of up to $10,000.

Thursday, Madison Elementary and Reagan Middle schools in Dixon, which share the same campus, were put on lockout after a Reagan student received a threatening message on social media and told an administrator, who called police.

Parents were notified via by text alerts, and the schools’ websites.

Thursday’s lockout was lifted when it was determined that the person who sent the threatening message was not in the Dixon area and there was no immediate danger to students.

In a lockout, entrances are locked and no one is allowed in or out.

The Sterling threat was not related in any way to the Dixon threat, Bartel said.

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Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.