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Bishop Chatard closes for second day in two weeks over online threats

Posted: 10:18 AM, Mar 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-26 14:18:28Z
Bishop Chatard High School.JPG

INDIANAPOLIS — Bishop Chatard students had an eLearning Day Tuesday, the second time in two weeks because of social media threats, school officials say.

Kelly Lucas, Communications Director at Bishop Chatard High School says the threats were in video and posts on social media and were all from the same individual.

According to a letter sent to parents on March 18, the posts contained threats toward staff members of the school but not a specific threat for the school itself. School officials decided to close on March 19 in response to those threats. Then on Monday evening, parents received another message from the school saying they found new video and social media threats and they would be closed again on Tuesday.

Lucas says school officials are working with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to determine the severity of those threats and whether or not they will return to school on Wednesday. So far, evening activities have not been canceled.

Lucas says the threat was not posted by a current Bishop Chatard student, and they do have a name for the person, although they cannot release that information because it is part of the investigation with police.

You can read the letters from Bishop Chatard to Parents sent last week and today below.

Letter From March 25
(Sent at 11:01 PM)

Once again, I apologize for the short and late notice as well as any inconvenience, but the BCHS Administration has decided to close campus once again due to safety concerns. Campus, including Trojan Tots Preschool will be closed on Tuesday, March 26th. Please read Principal Joe Hansen’s message below.
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Bishop Chatard administration has been made aware of an additional video and social media posts that references our school. Given the climate of the world we live in today, and in the interest of safety, we have decided to keep students away from campus and have an eLearning day on Tuesday, March 26. We are in contact with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and have made them aware of the videos and social media posts. We have also informed the IMPD of the name of the person behind them. Our administrative team convened this evening and we will continue to monitor the situation closely. We will make every effort to continue to keep you informed of this situation. More information about practices and after-school activities will be provided on Tuesday as soon as it is available. Please contact me should you have any additional questions or concerns.

Letters from March 18
(Sent at 10:35 PM)

I apologize for the late call and any inconvenience, but BCHS administration had decided to utilize an eLearning day tomorrow and close campus due to safety concerns. Please see the message below that was sent by BCHS Principal, Joe Hansen this evening. Thank you for your understanding,

(Sent at 10:02 PM)

We were made aware of some videos and social media posts made that mentioned members of our staff. Those posts, while bothersome, did not contain a specific threat to our school. Mr. Vince Lorenzano, our Director of Safety, has been in contact with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and has made them aware of the videos and social media posts. He has also informed the IMPD of the name of the person behind them. He continues to monitor the situation closely and keep our leadership team informed of any changes to the situation.

Here are the steps we have taken so far:

  • Our Director of Safety has contacted the IMPD.
  • We will have a police presence on the Bishop Chatard Campus tomorrow morning.
  • Night security at Bishop Chatard has been informed of the situation.
  • All videos and social media posts have been turned over to the IMPD.
  • We are scheduled to meet with police tomorrow to file a more specific report.
  • The IMPD is making every effort to contact the person who made the videos and social media posts.

While no specific threat was made to our school we believe it is in the best interest of our students and families to be away from campus tomorrow. Because the safety of our students is of paramount importance we have decided to ensure the safety of our students by doing an eLearning day. Please contact me should you have any additional questions or concerns.