Clarendon Hills Middle School officials have determined that a rumor spread about a student's plans to bring to school a gun and "kill list" of peers to shoot on Dec. 21 is unfounded and false, according to The Doings Clarendon Hills.
"Apparently, the rumor began after two girls began telling fellow students they heard a boy make threats," The Doings reported. "School officials did investigate a report about a concerning statement being overheard, which included no reference to Dec. 21."
District 181 communications director Bridget McGuiggan told Patch the rumor was first spread more than two weeks ago, and the comment in question was an off-the-cuff, heat-of-the-moment comment from the student.
McGuiggan said the rumor's proximity to Friday's Newtown, CT, school shooting, during which 20 elementary school students were killed, was "a sad coincidence."
"I think the overlap in time made parents wonder if there was some connection between the two," she said, noting that no weapons have been brought to school, there is no kill list, and school safety on Dec. 21 is not threatened.
Clarendon Hills Police Chief Ted Jenkins told Patch his department received about a dozen calls over the weekend regarding the CHMS rumor.
Also fueling worries, Jenkins said, was a squad car parked outside of the middle school Friday taking traffic counts.
"Next thing you know, it was just crazy," the chief said.
McGuiggan said District 181 Superintendent Renée Schuster emailed parents over the weekend to explain the facts of the incident and investigation.
Schuster sent out a statement to parents Friday afternoon in which she detailed the district's safety procedures, including its working relationships with area police departments and the buzz-in entry system utilized at its schools.
READ: Newtown Shooting 'Devastating Reminder' of Importance of School Safety in D181
"Our thoughts are with the students, staff and families of Sandy Hook Elementary and the town of Newtown, CT," Schuster wrote. "These incidents are a devastating reminder that we must continue to be mindful of the need for strong safety protocols in our schools. "
District administration also circulated a set of tips for talking to kids about high-profile, violent events like the one that took place Friday.
READ: Newtown School Shooting: How to Talk To Your Kids About It
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