Duneland School Corporation administrators and law enforcement have not yet
identified the source of a rumor of an impending act of violence at
Chesterton High School.
A pep rally scheduled for this afternoon, however—which, according to the
rumor, was to have been targeted—has been canceled, Superintendent Dirk Baer
told the Chesterton Tribune this morning. “I think they decided it
was one thing they didn’t need to have,” Baer said.
Some parents appeared to be taking much the same attitude and keeping their
kids home today. Attendance was down 10 to 15 percent from normal, Baer
noted, although he hastened to add that there are other reasons as well for
the absenteeism. “It’s the last day of school before a big holiday and
there’s a terrible flu bug going around,” he said. “There’s no question the
rumor has affected attendance but it’s not the only factor.”
Meanwhile, the source of the rumor itself is still a mystery. “Our head of
security, Steve Rohe, and the Chesterton Police Department are
investigating,” Baer said. “But we’re 10 to 12 people down the chain and
we’re no closer to figuring it out than when we started.”
Security measures and contingency plans implemented on Thursday remained in
place today, Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski told the Tribune.
Elsewhere on Thursday, a Valparaiso High School junior was detained on a
delinquency charge of intimidation after the Porter County Sheriff’s Police
said that he posted a threatening message on another person’s Facebook page.
According to police, the 16-year-old boy posted “Your all going to die!” and
“DEATH!” on that other person’s page, in connection with a lockdown which
had been put into effect on Thursday at another area high school.
Those posts “were able to be read by anyone in the area,” they caused
students to fear for their lives, and they could have led to the evacuation
of the school in question, thus prompting the intimidation charge, police
An additional delinquency charge of resisting law enforcement was filed
against the boy after police said that he fought with investigators when
they made contact with him at the Juvenile Probation Office.
The boy is the second county resident in two days to be charged with
intimidation in connection with Facebook postings. On Wednesday, a former
Portage High School student, Brian Aldaz, 18, of 2237 Iris St., was charged
with intimidation after Portage Police said that he posted a message in
which he threatened to “kill a few people” and then “kill some judges and