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'Offensive' cards worry some St. John the Baptist school parents

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 1:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 12:05 a.m. CDT

JOHNSBURG – Police officers were posted at St. John the Baptist Catholic School on Tuesday after parents received anonymous “offensive” letters, Johnsburg Police Chief Keith Von Allmen said.

The letters – a sheet of paper with a few words on it, less than a sentence, in an envelope – were sent to at least 13 parents who serve on the private school’s parent advisory board last week during the school’s spring break, Von Allmen said.

“Inside the cards, there were offensive statements directed at the parent,” he said. “I want to make it clear that It was not a threatening comment. ... It almost appears as though the message indicates displeasure in some decision. I’m kind of assuming here.”

But parents were concerned about the safety of their children, and to alleviate concerns, Von Allmen posted an officer at each of the school’s buildings Tuesday. Some parents decided not to send their children to school.

Depending on how the investigation goes, officers may remain there for the next few days, he said.

Von Allmen declined to say what the letter said because of the ongoing investigation. He said the cards were homemade and had some consistency.

At this point, it is unclear whether there would be criminal charges, but he wanted to make sure the cards weren’t a precursor to something else.

“If my children attended this school, my children would be there [Tuesday],” Von Allmen said.

School officials did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School, which runs preschool through eighth grade, draws students from Johnsburg, McHenry, Spring Grove, Richmond, Fox Lake, Lakemoor, Volo and Wonder Lake, according to the school’s website.

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