All the schools in Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 were placed on a soft lockdown Friday morning, after a parent of a student at Robinson School reportedly posted what could be interpreted as a threatening photo and messages on Facebook.
Paul Chapman, 43, of Lyons, was taken into custody Friday by the Lyons Police Department and the lockdown was lifted at about noon, according to District 103 Superintendent Carol Baker.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved charging Chapman with felony disorderly conduct “for transmitting threats via social media towards faculty and students at Robinson School,” according to Lyons spokesman Ray Hanania.
Screenshots of the Facebook posts, which were shared on a Lyons community page, showed Chapman was upset at the response of officials to a head injury suffered by his son.
Chapman wrote that his son suffered head trauma and a bruise, but was told by a school official that it was just a minor thing. Chapman allegedly threatened to sue the school district or file some kind of charges.
“I am tired of the lack of attention at this place,” he wrote.
Another message, allegedly posted by Chapman, included a photo of someone identified as the boy’s uncle, wearing a military uniform and holding an assault rifle. The post stated that the boy’s uncle is getting was “getting tired of it as well.”
The post stated that the uncle, Sam Ronan, who is running for Congress in Ohio, was ready to come to the school in full uniform with an AR-15 assault weapon to make the point that the boy should not be bullied. The post also stated that Chapman advised his relative against bringing an assault rifle to the school.
These messages worried school officials, who notified the Lyons Police Department.
“In the light of what recently happened in Florida and that tragic situation, we have to take any kind of threat out there very seriously,” said District 103 Superintendent Carol Baker. “We do not want to be the next school district that has a horrible tragedy like that.”
The soft lockdown started at Robinson School early on March 23 and was extended to the other schools in district as a precaution. The lockdowns ended around noon after Chapman was taken into custody.
During a soft lockdown children are kept indoors and no visitors are allowed past the vestibules of the school buildings.
“We basically just try and keep the kids and staff members inside,” Baker said.
Students were not told of the lockdown.
“We don’t share that with the kids,” Baker said. “School went on as usual.”
Parents were notified Friday morning by email, phone call or text message that the schools were placed on a soft lockdown. At 12:24 p.m. parents were notified that the lockdown had been lifted.
Baker said Chapman would not be allowed within 500 feet on any District 103 schools.
At a hearing on March 24, a Cook County judge set Chapman’s bond at $10,000. As of Monday morning, Chapman was still being held at Cook County Jail, awaiting a March 27 preliminary hearing, after the Landmark’s press time, at the Bridgeview courthouse.
Bob Uphues contributed to this report.