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Sheriff's office responds to 'concerning' messages at Riley Elementary

Published: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 5:41 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 11:49 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Sheriff's Office responded to Riley Elementary School in unincorporated Marengo on Thursday to respond to statements on social media that toed the line of making threats.

Riley school administrators requested a sheriff's office investigation after the "concerning" statements were discovered on Instagram, Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said.

The messages were vague and bizarre, but stopped short of making actual threats against the school that houses about 300 children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Still, the statements were upsetting enough to be brought to the attention of school and police officials, Zinke said.

No charges were filed against the 13-year-old boy responsible for the messages. He was processed at the sheriff's office, but ultimately released to the school for possible disciplinary measures there.

Interim Riley Superintendent Jerry Trickett said the school district asked the sheriff's office to search the school Thursday to make sure it was safe.

The district reviewed the search and statements with the sheriff's office.

"There was no evidence that would [indicate] the facility would be unsafe to students," Trickett said. "That's why we chose to have school today."

Trickett added that parents were informed of the incident around 10 p.m. Thursday.

He said the student has been suspended indefinitely and the district is determining whether additional action needs to be taken. Trickett said he expects to meet with the Riley School District 18 Board next week to discuss the matter.

Trickett said the student admitted writing the Instagram post.

The sheriff's office provided beefed up security at the school Thursday and Friday, but don't expect to be at the school again Monday, Zinke said.

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