UPDATE: Dubuque Senior students return back to school after soci - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Dubuque Senior students return back to school after social media threats

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Dubuque Senior High School students have returned back to classes after shooting threats were posted on social media.

It forced administrators to cancel school on Friday, district-wide.

According to police, the threats turned out not to be credible.

District officials said counselors are available for students who need additional support. 


It wasn't the typical Friday at Dubuque Senior High School.

No students, no teachers, no classes, after posts on social media made earlier in the week and late Thursday, threatened a possible shooting.

"All the threats we received involved shootings in different contexts," said Stan Rheingans, District Superintendent . "We had several threats that we were able to work through the day, and then at night we saw a large variety of threats."

There were multiple threats from more than one student. The Dubuque Police Department said two 16-year-old boys were responsible. However, they did not make them as a two-some. 

"We did have a couple of threats, that took place, it seemed like a larger volume I'm sure to our students and to our families, and to us initially as we worked thorough that. But it really was just a few, that sort of multiplied through social media," added Rheingans.

According to police, the threats turned out to not be credible. 

It was enough to cause some fear in the Tri-state area. Holy Family Catholic Schools made the decision to cancel classes. Some of the worry also spread to Illinois. East Dubuque School placed their district on soft lockdown as a precaution.

Since authorities have found no credible threat, activities like games and dances that are scheduled this weekend will go on. However, there will be more security and police presence. 

The two students responsible have been charged with harassment, and will likely also face disciplinary actions by the district.

"Parents, talk to your kids. Let them know this is zero-tolerance. It can't be funny, it can't be a joke," Rheingans said.

Next week, counselors will be available at the schools for students who need support.

On their website, the district has posted resources on how parents can talk to students about violence, which can be viewed here: http://www.dbqschools.org/2018/02/resources-talking-students-violence/


The Dubuque Community School District says there is no credible threat to their schools, and evening activities will proceed as normal, according to an email sent out by the district this morning.

They will have extra police presence at those events.

"As we reflect on this situation, it is important to reinforce that we will take any threat received as serious until we know otherwise. Anyone who believes there is a concern should report it immediately to an adult for follow-up and refrain from posting/reposting unconfirmed information on social media. When we are able to determine the source of the threat, we will take action to ensure that the individual is held accountable," they said in an email.

"As we move into the weekend, please be assured that we are fully committed to the safety of our students and staff, and we are thankful for the tremendous support we receive from the community in providing a safe learning environment," the email said.


There will be no school district wide today for Dubuque Community Schools today. 

The Dubuque School District put this alert out on their website this morning: "This decision comes following a threat late last evening to Dubuque Senior High School, which we have been unable to confirm the credibility of. Following the decision to close Senior for the day, the student/parental concern and significant disruption created throughout the district has led to a decision to close ALL SCHOOLS today. This day will be made up at the end of the school year, as we believe students will benefit more from a normal school day at that time as opposed a day filled with distractions today."


Dubuque Community Schools says classes at Dubuque Senior High School have been canceled for Friday, due to "widespread reports on social media regarding an alleged threat of a possible shooting."

A post on the district's website goes onto say that no credible information on an actual threat exists, but are canceling tomorrow's classes out of caution. School officials are in close contact with Dubuque Police regarding the situation.

This is a developing story, stay with KWWL on air and online as more information becomes available. 

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