Prank 911 call shuts down Longfellow School Tuesday

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Bill Dwyer

A child's prank 911 call brought well over a dozen squad cars to Longfellow school just before noon Tuesday. Oak Park police received a 911 call reporting that a man with a knife had entered the school at 715 Highland Ave.

When the first responding officer arrived at the school, officials there were unaware of the call, but quickly executed the school's lock down procedure used in such instances.

Teachers immediately herded students into the school's two gyms. For some 30 minutes police officers stood guard outside every exit, as other officers searched the building.

A clearly perturbed Deputy Police Chief Robert Scianna stepped out of the building just after one o'clock to announce that everything was OK.

Police dispatchers, he said, received a call at 11:50 a.m., claiming that an armed intruder was in the school. The system's ID showed the call as being made from Longfellow, but when the dispatcher attempted to question the caller about detail, the line went dead.

"It was a kid's voice," said Scianna of the 911 call. "We're currently conducting an investigation jointly with the school to determine who made the call."

Kathleen Schrbilgen, who has two children in the grade school, arrived at the school at 12:45 p.m. with her youngest child. While admitting that it was "disconcerting" to see her kid's school surrounded by police cars, Schrbilgen said expressed confidence in the school's staff.

"I have confidence that they'll do whatever needs to be done."


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