Bomb threat leads to Southern Illinois high school closing for the week

MARION, Ill. — A bomb threat Wednesday at a Southern Illinois High School has resulted in students being placed on full-remote learning as ongoing disruptions are expected.

The threat was made toward Marion High School Wednesday morning when the school administration became aware of a phone call from a caller originating from New York state threatening to blow up Marion High School if the girls’ track coach wasn’t fired.

The Marion Police Department was immediately contacted for assistance in assessing the threat and determined that the high school was not at immediate risk given the conditional nature of the threat.

As strictly a precautionary measure, students were sent home early with no on-campus activities for the day. Marion Police and Fire along with the Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad was called in to sweep and secure the school to further ensure its safety for students and staff.

Earlier this week, Marion Girls’ Track Coach Sara Baker was placed on paid leave after allegedly making a “racially insensitive” remark recently toward a student. Protesters have been at the school this week with some asking for Baker to be immediately fired.

The school district continues to investigate the incident in order to determine appropriate action. School officials say discipline or termination cannot be considered until the district has a complete understanding of what occurred.