Local high schools targeted with “swatting” hoax
April 12, 2023
Numerous Illinois high schools, including those in Carbondale and Marion, were put on lockdown Wednesday because of hoax phone calls claiming an active shooter was on the property.
Throughout the state, the calls prompted an intense police presence as doors were shut down and officers searched, in all cases finding nothing.
“It’s regrettable that schools become targets of such incidents, but we are grateful for the swift and serious action taken by the Carbondale Police to ensure the safety of students and staff,” Superintendent Danial Booth said.
In a Facebook post, Marion High School said, “Upon investigation, it was deemed a false report, and likely part of a bigger national trend that has been spread via multiple phone calls to Marion Police Department and several other towns within close proximity and via social media platforms.”
A press release from Carbondale Police referred to the case as a “swatting” incident, in which prank callers dial 911 and report criminal activity to prompt a large police response.
“Despite it being a hoax call, we take every threat seriously and respond accordingly,” the press release said.
The call to Carbondale Community High School was received at 9:59 a.m. and the school resume normal activities within 46 minutes. Several people posting to the Facebook group WTF Carbondale said juniors at the school were taking their SAT college entrance exams at the time.