CARLINVILLE – A teenage minor has been charged in Macoupin County following a week of turmoil for the Southwestern School District.

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The minor, whose name will not be released was charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 4 Felony, for allegedly threatening the destruction of property at Southwestern High School and Middle School last Wednesday, according to a release from the Macoupin County State's Attorney's Office. Both the middle school and the high school dismissed at 11 a.m. Wednesday and students who did not drive to school or take the bus were taken to the Brighton North Elementary School campus where parents and guardians retrieved them. That evacuation was assisted by law enforcement, including the Macoupin County Sheriff's Department, Secretary of State Bomb Squad and Brighton Police Department.

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This evacuation was deemed necessary due to a potentially credible threat against the school district involving a written notice there was a bomb in the school as well as a gun and a knife. That threat has since been deemed a hoax after students were placed on lock-down again on Thursday with an elevated law enforcement presence and potential to be searched.

“After review of the reports and discussing the situation with law enforcement, this is an isolated incident,” Macoupin County State's Attorney Jennifer Watson said in the release. “It appears from the evidence this was a hoax and the students were never in danger. However, this situation cannot and will not be taken lightly. With the cooperation of students, staff, administration and parents the evacuation was organized and swift.”

This assertion was backed by parents of the Southwestern School District who contacted with information as the situation progressed.

The unnamed juvenile is innocent until proven guilty and faces a possible penalty of probation with up to 30 days in a juvenile detention center or a maximum punishment of 1-3 years in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

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