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Belleville high schools see increased police presence after threatening posts circulate

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Extra police officers were assigned to Belleville East and Belleville West High Schools on Thursday after a threatening post was circulated on social media.

District 201 Superintendent Brian Mentzer said the origin of the post was unknown and did not specifically target either of Belleville's public high schools. Families were alerted with a robocall Wednesday night.

Belleville Police Capt. Mark Heffernan said the extra patrols were assigned after Belleville high school students received shares or texted screen shots of the social media post.

The threat appeared to have been written on a white background and warned students to not go to school on Oct. 14, 2021 or "I'll be seeing you in hell." It included a slur against homosexuals.

"At this point in time, the only nexus to Belleville is that Belleville high school students received a message," he said. "There's nothing specific targeting a Belleville school nor is there anything in the message as to what type of incident they are talking about."

No arrests have been made at this time, Heffernan said.

Mentzer said that even though there was no indication that the post was linked to either high school, the school district wanted the community to be aware.

"Based on the information that we have, this was a non-specific post on social media that we don't even know if it originated in Belleville, but as with any cases like this, safety is of utmost importance and we alerted the school district administration last night out of an abundance of caution so that they were aware we had received a report of this message," Heffernan said.

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