Death threat issued on Facebook to high school student, Canton authorities take action

By Joe Bennett

October 11, 2012 Updated Oct 12, 2012 at 12:27 AM CDT

CANTON, Ill. -- Around 9 P.M. Wednesday, Canton Police Chief Dan Taylor says a young man reported he received a death threat through a Facebook message

Because the threat was made to a high school student, police contacted the school district and the district contacted the community.

"And we did make the decision to notify all parents,” says School District 66 Superintendent Roy Webb. “We did that in an alert message this morning letting them know that there was a threat against the school."

The alert caused some parents to keep their children home from school with an excused absence.

Police also took additional steps, erring on the side of caution.

"We do have an increased presence at the school and will have throughout the day,” says Chief Taylor. “We also have some additional personnel just to be sure our students are safe."

Chief Taylor says the Facebook threat came with a message saying the suspect would "put Canton High School on the news."

That person now faces at least one felony charge and may appear on the news alongside the high school for threatening the life of a student.

Once the suspect is in custody, Superintendent Webb hopes everyone will realize the foolishness and danger of making threats.

"Through our court system, they're going to have to hammer on these kids pretty hard and give them that felony instead of reducing the charge and let them know that threats will not be tolerated," Webb says.

Police say the suspect is neither a Canton High student, nor a member of the Canton community.

Before an arrest can be made, police will verify the suspect was not somebody hacking into another Facebook account, something that can take a while but will help to document the threat that has left a digital print on the internet.

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