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Local

Police: Genoa-Kingston High student arrested after threats lead to lockdown

A Genoa police car sits running outside of Genoa-Kingston High School shortly after the school's lockdown was lifted Monday morning.
A Genoa police car sits running outside of Genoa-Kingston High School shortly after the school's lockdown was lifted Monday morning.

GENOA – A Genoa-Kingston High School student was arrested Monday after fellow students reported threatening social media posts to administrators.

Officials called police and put the school on lockdown around 10:20 a.m. The emergency security procedures were lifted about 40 minutes later, but a police officer remained at the school for several hours to keep an eye on things.

“We take that kind of thing very seriously,” said Joe Burgess, superintendent of Genoa-Kingston School District 424. “There’s no reason not to.”

Two students were involved in making the threats, which were violent and
referenced the 1999 Columbine High School shooting that killed 13 people, Genoa Police Chief Robert Smith said. Only one of the
students suspected of making the threats was at school Monday.

“The investigation will continue,” Smith said.

Officials didn’t find anything suspicious or dangerous at the high school after completing a search which involved checking lockers and backpacks, Smith said.

“We didn’t find any weapons,” Smith said. “No guns, no nothing.”

Smith added that investigators determined through questioning that the teen doesn’t have access to firearms. The student has been suspended and could face expulsion, he said.

Officials will interview the other student involved when the student returns home from vacation. The two students could face disorderly conduct charges and be referred to juvenile court, Smith said.

Monday was the first day back at school after winter break for Genoa-Kingston students.

In March, on the Monday after spring break, Genoa-Kingston and Hiawatha School Districts were both put on lockdown because of a Genoa-Kingston high-schooler’s social media posts that some found threatening.

Burgess said student safety is top priority.

“Kids’ safety is first and foremost,” he said. “So regardless of the intent [of the threats] ... Our job is to let law enforcement officials do their job.” 

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