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Creston School superintendent responds to recent incident

Modified: Monday, Feb 6th, 2017

CRESTON — Several Creston School parents have expressed concerns on social media over the past weekend regarding an incident that took place over a week ago at the school involving a student, who allegedly suggested he had a weapon at the school.

One parent, who did not want to be identified, told the News-Leader she was keeping her child home on Monday in fear that the matter had not been dealt with properly.

According to Creston School Superintendent Dr. Bill Robertson, a letter was originally sent home to parents late last week, indicating the incident was isolated and that the administration immediately intervened when it was brought to its attention.

“The safety of our students and staff continue to be our primary concern,” Robertson stated. “All necessary steps have been taken to ensure that all students and staff continue to interact in a safe and healthy learning environment.”

On Sunday, Feb. 5 Robertson emailed a second expanded statement to district parents, and it reads as follows:

February 05, 2017
Dear Parents/Guardians:
I would like to take this opportunity to provide clarification as it is clear that social media is reporting parental concerns, as well as information that is completely incorrect in relation to the incident that took place over one week ago at Creston School.  As mentioned in a previous statement, this was an isolated incident and the administration intervened immediately when this incident came to our attention.  This incident was handled in a manner that was consistent and compliant with required Federal laws, State laws, and Board policy.  We have also reviewed this incident in detail with the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, the Regional Superintendent of Schools, and District Legal Counsel, all of whom support the manner by which we have handled this incident.  Please note that, under no circumstances, will the student discipline consequences for the incident in question be changed or modified at this point. Any specific information regarding specific student discipline, even if names are not used, is protected by both Federal and State laws, so no further details can be shared. 
The safety of our students and staff continue to be our primary concern.  All necessary steps have been taken to ensure that all students and staff continue to interact in a safe and healthy learning environment. We have made arrangements for our social worker to be available to other students at Creston School.  We have taken the parent concerns seriously and now plan to move forward with focusing on the important business of educating our students in a safe and healthy environment as the Board of Education and Administration consider this matter closed.  Thank you.
 Dr. Bill Robertson
Creston CCSD #161

Regarding the incident, Robertson reiterated on Monday the administration complied with the required law on the federal and state levels, and with the board’s policy, and released the following press statement:

"The object involved did not fit the definition of a firearm or weapon under Senate Bill 100 (new student discipline legislation). There were no reports made of threats during our investigation."

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