ELBURN – Three teenagers who were playing with toy guns near Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School Friday afternoon were taken into custody after a bus driver saw somebody "who looked suspicious" near the school, according to Kaneland District 302 Superintendent Jeff Schuler.
Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School was on lockdown for about 10 minutes. The three boys were not charged and they were later released to their parents.
Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith said that the situation included three teenagers who were two blocks south of the school in a field. Two of them had airsoft pellet pistols, and one of them was wearing a dark blue utility vest that resembled body armor.
"Nobody was ever in danger," Smith said. "They looked like real guns. They are made to look like real guns."
Airsoft guns are replica firearms that fire plastic pellets through compressed gas or electric and/or spring-driven pistons. Smith said the teenagers did not attend the school.
Laura Garland, the principal at John Stewart, said that the school was locked down from about 3:35 to 3:45 p.m., but that the students had already been dismissed for the day.
According to an email sent by Kaneland school officials to parents, the driver noticed a suspicious-looking person near the corn fields which are located near the school. The driver, following the district's safety procedures, notified the district's transportation director. The director contacted 911, and the Elburn Police Department was dispatched.
Police at the scene gave permission for the buses to depart, the email stated. At 3:50 p.m., police told Garland that the area was safe and that any students and staff could be released.
• Kane County Chronicle news editor Al Lagattolla contributed to this report.