Citing an abundance of caution administrators Thursday abruptly cancelled the All School Assembly at Lyons Township High School that had been scheduled for Friday morning. The annual All School Assembly is the one time during the school year that the entire student body of LTHS, about 4,000 students, are together in one place at the same time.
The assembly, which is held in the school’s fieldhouse on the North Campus, features talent performances and other fun events and is eagerly looked forward to by many LTHS students and staff. Freshman and sophomores, who are based at school’s South Campus in Western Springs, are bussed to the North campus for the event that started in 2001.
But Wednesday afternoon school officials began hearing from students, particularly at the freshmen-sophomore South Campus, who were concerned about their safety at the All School Assembly. One student, after overhearing a conservation between two other individuals, reported a threat. School officials, in collaboration with the police departments of Western Springs and La Grange, investigated and ultimately determined that no credible threat was made verbally or through social media.
But, in light of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, officials decided to cancel the All School Assembly anyway.
District 204 Superintendent Tim Kilrea and LTHS Principal Brian Waterman explained their decision in an email sent to LTHS parents and guardians Thursday afternoon.
“In light of the recent safety concerns and after many conversations with parents and students, we have regretfully decided to cancel tomorrow’s All School Assembly,” Kilrea and Waterman wrote. “Our responsibility as educators is to ensure the physical, social, and emotional safety and well-being of our students and staff. It is out of an abundance of caution for our students emotional well-being, as well as the nature of the current climate, that this decision was made. We continue to believe that our campuses are safe, and we want to reassure our students and parents that their social, emotional, and physical safety is paramount.”
The decision to cancel the All School Assembly was made after administrators received many calls from concerned parents.
“Both main offices received many calls from concerned parents,” said Jennifer Bialobok, the Community Relations Coordinator for LTHS.
As of Friday no decision has been made whether the All School Assembly will be rescheduled for another time.