Superintendent of Elmwood Park District 401 moves high school classes online following report of ‘potential threat’ and days after police say boy had gun at school newstrendslive

In-person classes were canceled for Friday for the students of Elmwood Park School High School after officials said there was “potential threat” they wanted to exercise caution.

“We received a report of a potential threat during the EPHS student organized walk out that was planned for 10am this morning. Out of an abundance of caution we will move to an e-learning day today at EPHS,” Superintendent Leah Gauthier wrote in a message distributed to district families just before 7 a.m. Friday.

Elmwood Park High School is part of Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401.

“This e-learning day will be for EPHS students and staff. We work in collaboration with the police department to investigate any serious matters to keep our students and staff safe. Please continue to report any concerns.”

In an email to Pioneer Press later Friday morning, Gauthier said, “law enforcement completed their investigation and the threat was unfounded.”

Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401 Superintendent Leah Gauthier speaks at the Class of 2021 commencement 2021.

SD401 is made up of four schools, with nearly 2,800 students enrolled in grades pre-K to 12. The high school, at 8201 W. Fullerton, in Elmwood Park, has about 980 students.

Elmwood Park police officials referred calls about the alleged threat incident to the River Grove Police Department. Officials at River Grove Police Department did not respond to Pioneer Press requests for more information about the threat incident.

However, River Grove police Chief Michael Konwinski told Pioneer Press in an email that an EPHS student was arrested Monday morning and charged with having a loaded gun.

“The arrest came after reports were received that the 17 year old subject left school property with the handgun in a bag,” Konwinski stated in the email.

“I am not commenting on school policy or procedure, and this is all of the information, related to the arrest, that I am releasing at this time.

While it remained unclear late Friday afternoon if the threat incident was related to the one involving the gun incident, the walk-out students had planned was reportedly over safety concerns.

There were no media reports of a school lock down related to the alleged gun incident. And, Gauthier did not respond to a Pioneer Press inquiry about it..

However, a post on the EPHS website later Friday afternoon seemed to refer to the “serious incident.”

“District 401 Administrators, Elmwood Park Police Department and River Grove Police Department had a debriefing of the serious incident that occurred on Monday, March 6, 2023. All in attendance concluded that the actions taken on Monday mitigated the threat within the school.

“Moving forward we will continue to review protocols and training in partnership to enhance safety within the school,” the statement read.

Check back for updates.

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