OPRF attendance drops as parents respond to bomb threat

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By Staff Archive

A few extra police officers were present at Oak Park and River Forest High School and staff have limited student movement around the building during classes on Thursday, the day after a bomb threat was discovered written on the wall inside a bathroom stall. Attendance at the school was also substantially reduced as many parents chose to hold their kids back from classes Thursday.

The threat referenced a disruption that would take place this afternoon, according to an email sent to parents just after 5 p.m. Wednesday.

OPRF Principal Nathaniel Rouse said Thursday morning the tone at the school had been "relatively good" and the day was going "as normal as possible," given the circumstances. Rouse said he and other staff had been talking in classrooms and calming students after the threat was discovered by safety and support monitors.

Rouse said those monitors have normal routes they take through the school, but have been checking them more frequently Thursday. That includes more checks of the bathrooms, he said.

Between three and five police officers have been present at the school during the day and the staff were limiting hall passes, Rouse said.

According to a source, Rouse told students the note said the bomb would go off at 12:52 p.m. He would not comment on the timing of the threat in an interview with the Journal.

Oak Park police could not immediately be reached for comment.

When asked how many students were absent Thursday, he referred questions to the school's attendance office.

"I do know they were hit pretty heavy with questions," he added.

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