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Alderman Warns of Possible Gun Violence at Taft High School Friday

By Alex Parker | December 20, 2012 10:01pm
 Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) is warning residents of possible gun violence at Taft High School.
Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) is warning residents of possible gun violence at Taft High School.
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Taft High School/Facebook

CHICAGO — A Northwest Side alderman is warning constitutents of possible gun violence at Taft High School Friday.

Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) said police told him they learned of threats against the school on social media.

"In the wake of everything going on today, they want everybody to be aware they picked this up and will be at school tomorrow," said Cullerton. "You just don't know what going on in today's world."

Cullerton said police in the Jefferson Park District wanted to make the public aware of the threats floating around the Internet about Taft, 6530 West Bryn Mawr Ave., but "they don't expect anything. They feel it's kids being kids."

Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler said staff across the school district has been on heightened alert since the deadly school shooting in Connecticut last week, and the district would investigate any credible threat.

Cullerton posted a message on the community website Everyblock passing on information he received from the Chicago Police Department. Police could not confirm the information Cullerton received.

"We have received reports that students at Taft HS are claiming, vis (sic) social media, that there is going to be a 'shoot out' at the school on Friday," the message said. "Some are claiming that this is a result of the end of the Myan (sic) calendar approaching, others claim that it may be a continuation of a fight from last week. In either case, we have made the school aware of the threats and have dedicated additional patrols to the school."

Cullerton's warning about possible violence at the school comes days after a message posted on Taft's Web site made reference to the Mayan prophecy that the world would end Friday.

"Been nice known' ya!" the apparent tongue-in-cheek message said. It was posted on the school's Facebook and Twitter accounts, but the link on the website has apparently been deleted.

"I believe that was just a joke. I didn’t see it myself," said Sheerena Lewis, a Taft teacher and a member of its Local School Council. "The children mentioned it a little bit."