Wheaton North High School lockdown lifted after police investigate 'suspicious item'

Wheaton North High School | Google Street View

Wheaton North High School was placed on lockdown briefly Wednesday morning while police investigated a pried-open lockbox that was found outside the school.

The city of Wheaton put out an alert around 11 a.m., saying police are investigating the lockbox that "could potentially be used as gun safe" but added that there is no current threat to any students or staff.

The lockdown was lifted at 11:40 a.m. after Wheaton police determined there was no threat at the school. Students have resumed their school day.

Hawthorne, Lowell, Sandburg and Washington elementary schools were placed in "Secure & Teach" protocols out of an abundance of caution but that has since been lifted, according to Wheaton officials.


The city of Wheaton issued a statement after the lockdown, saying the community is safe:

"In District 200 and for the Wheaton Police Department, the safety and security of students, staff, and the entire school community is the top priority. The District takes a multi-faceted approach to school safety which includes but is not limited to supporting the social emotional and mental health of our students; secure school entrances; and maintaining strong, working relationships with first responders. The District and Wheaton Police encourage students and staff to always say something if they see something that doesn’t seem right or safe. In this situation, members of the school community modeled that behavior and properly executed safety drills as they have trained."

The origin and purpose of the lockbox is still being investigated by police.

Wheaton is a suburb roughly 30 miles west of Chicago.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.