Chicago schools on high alert after shooting deaths of 2 Simeon students, social media threats

Since two students from Simeon Career Academy High School were shot and killed earlier this week, there's understandably been fear within Chicago Public Schools.

On Thursday, police announced a man was taken into custody after making a series of social media threats, which have been impacting attendance this week.

"Understandably, we did have lower attendance," said Jadine Chou, CPS' Chief of Safety & Security.

Chou joined top CPD brass at Simeon High School Thursday in the wake of a pair of separate shootings that killed two students earlier this week.

"This is a devastating loss for the entire Simeon Community," Chou said. "Everyone from the educators to their friends and their classmates, who will feel their absence every day as the school year continues."

After Tuesday's fatal shootings, police say a series of social media threats of more gun violence were made across CPS.

"We've had multiple social media threats go out to multiple schools, from the West Side of Chicago all the way here to the South Side of Chicago," said Ernest Cato, Chief of CPD Counterterrorism.


The principal of Kenwood Academy sent a letter Thursday morning to parents, acknowledging a direct threat to Kenwood via Instagram. However, that and other threats were later deemed "not credible," and police now have a south suburban man in custody who they believe is responsible for posting them.

"[Causing] Fear is likely the bottom line to why a person would do something like this," Brown said. "It's obviously caused a lot of concerned parents to be concerned for their kids at schools."

Meantime, the investigation into both fatal shootings continues, with no one in custody, and no leads in the shooting that happened at 83rd and South Holland Road.

"Come forward with any information you have that might help us bring these offenders to justice to give some sense of peace to these families," said Brown.

The head of CPS Security announced several new measures to keep students safe at Simeon, including extra security presence at dismissal, CTA bus staging right outside the building at dismissal, and extra security presence at school during the week.