Security Scare at East High as gun found on-campus during finals


photo by WTVO/WQRF

A police car outside East High on Jan. 27. Photo taken from WTVO/WQRF.

Jonathan Dumois, News Director

A security scare occurred at East on Jan. 27 as students were in the middle of their final exams.

A weapon was found on school grounds during the second day of final exams. It is unclear what kind of weapon was found. Rockford Police have arrested three individuals in relation to the incident, although it is unclear whether these three were students.

In an email to E-Rab students, faculty, and family members, it was revealed that administrators were alerted to a rumor that a weapon was founded. After hearing that rumor, the school, alongside Rockford Police, started searching for said weapon, where it was soon discovered. Police later arrested three people, two males and one female, with charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, with the 15 year old male also being charged with reckless discharge of a weapon. Both are Class 4 felonies, although the suspects are currently scheduled to be charged as minors. All three are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Principal Jim Parker addressed the situation in that same email, saying that the safety of students and staff are his top priority, and wanted to share the information as a result. Mr. Parker said that the discovery was unacceptable at East, adding, “This behavior is not aligned with East’s reputation, and it is not what our students or staff deserve.”

Talking with the East Highlights, Parker added further that “If we had known information that a gun was shot off, we would’ve put the school on a hard lockdown. But we had no clue whatsoever about any type of shot being fired.”

He also stated that prior to the rumor being discovered, neither him, the school, and Rockford Police had any information regarding any weapon found on campus.

He took the time to speak directly with students in the email, saying that they “deserve to feel safe here at East and be safe.” He encouraged students to report threats and rumors to an administrator or Rockford Police. He also encouraged parents to talk with their students about the incident and remind them about unacceptable behavior. 

He later said to us “My goal here is to keep everyone safe.”

Classes were dismissed as planned according to the finals schedule, and resumed the next day, albeit with higher security and police presence.  

This comes weeks after two students were shot at the parking lot of Auburn High School, which resulted in the arrests of three students, and later resulted in increased security protocols at Auburn.