Juvenile Accused Of Threatening Waterloo Schools
A teenager is accused of making a threat on social media that forced the cancellation of public high school classes in Waterloo on Wednesday (Oct. 10, 2018).
Major Joe Leibold of the Waterloo Police Department confirmed that a 15-year-old male had been taken into custody in connection with the incident and was transported to the Black Hawk County Juvenile Detention Center pending a hearing. The teenager is charged with threats of terrorism, Leibold said.
According to a press release, Waterloo police began receiving reports about the social media threats around 5:40 PM on Tuesday. Authorities said the threats were directed toward West High School and Expo Alternative Learning Center. The social media comments did not reference East High School, but district officials decided to cancel classes at all three buildings as a precaution.
The announcement of the buildings' closures was sent out to parents around 6 AM Wednesday. In the messages, district officials said police and school staff worked throughout the night to investigate the threat. While progress was made in resolving the issue, the decision to cancel high school classes was made "out of an abundance of caution and to allow police to complete their investigation."
Authorities were still conducting the probe Wednesday morning to determine if anyone else was involved in the threat, Leibold said. He's asking anyone with information concerning the case to contact the Waterloo Police Department.
Classes were held at the district's elementary and middle schools, as scheduled, on Wednesday. District officials saidy they planned to resume classes at all three high schools on Thursday.
Because of the threat, local law enforcement personnel were planning to increase their presence in and around Waterloo-area schools for the next several days as a precaution. Leibold said the added security would include Waterloo police, the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Department and Iowa State Patrol.