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O'FALLON — A 15-year-old Southern Illinois boy is in custody and faces felony charges after authorities say he made threats against an elementary school.

Officials say the teen wrote graffiti on J Emmett Hinchcliffe Sr. Elementary School in O'Fallon, including a threatening message and explicit and vulgar drawings. He is charged with making a terrorist threat, attempt of making a terrorist threat, disorderly conduct and criminal defacement of property.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly on Wednesday called it "a serious, serious threat." Police say the teen appeared in juvenile court and was sent to juvenile detention center.

School officials say about 170 students were absent Monday, the day the threat was found, and students were still kept home Wednesday.

O'Fallon Superintendent Carrie Hruby said the threat "sent fear and panic throughout the community."

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