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Elmwood Park H.S. Students Searched After Bomb Threat

ELMWOOD PARK, Ill. (STMW) -- Students entering west suburban Elmwood Park High School were subject to search by police Thursday, after a bomb threat was discovered for that day.

No bomb was discovered, but the day's lessons, which consisted of final exams, were delayed by about an hour while every student was patted down and backpacks, purses and other kinds of bags were searched. Handheld metal detectors were used on students as well before they were allowed to go to class.

River Grove Police Chief Rodger Loni said high school administrators notified them on Dec. 17 after a threatening note was found after school that day in the second floor girl's bathroom.

"The note said the school is going to blown up on the 19th [of December] at 7 a.m.," he said.

Loni said he sought out assistance from Cook County Sheriff's Department to use their bomb-sniffing dogs at the school on Dec. 18. School was still in session that day, but no one could come in or leave the school while the search was conducted.

Nothing was found as a result of the search.

Elmwood Park School District Superintendant Kevin Anderson said parents were notified about Thursday's search that was going to take place at the high school. He said about 45 students didn't show up at school on Dec. 18 because their parents felt uncomfortable sending them to school. They will be allowed to reschedule their exams for a later date.

Loni said about 900 of the students came in one entrance at 7 a.m. Thursday and proceeded into the school's gym to be searched. He described it as being similar to the process a person goes through before getting on an airplane.

"They [students] were very cooperative," Anderson said. "It went very, very smoothly."

Officers from Elmwood Park Police Department and Triton College assisted River Grove police through the process.

"We kept on schedule," Anderson said. "We won't do any search tomorrow [Dec. 20] but staff will keep their eyes open."

Tim Robinson, 49, of Elmwood Park, waited outside the high school Dec. 19 at around 1 p.m. to pick up his 14-year-old daughter. He knew about the search, but figured someone who didn't want to take final exams that day made the threat.

"That's what we figure, no time to study," he said. "The school did a good job."

Anderson said they've reviewed surveillance videos and interviewed students, but has no leads on who wrote the threatening note.

Loni said anyone arrested in connection with the bomb threat could be charged with a felony. He said anyone with any information should contact River Grove Police Department at 708-453-2121.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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