FBI to Help Investigate Threats at Highland Park High School
Highland Park High School was evacuated for the second time in two days, after a box containing .22-caliber shells was found in a boys bathroom Wednesday morning.
After the discovery, school officials decided to lock down the campus until police made sure there was not imminent danger, University Park police Capt. Leon Holman said. Students were released around noon, and district officials canceled or moved all Wednesday evening activities at the high school.
Just one day earlier, a threatening note — the fourth in six weeks — was discovered in a different boys bathroom.
The school was evacuated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, and besides canceling afternoon classes, district officials also called off or moved all of Tuesday evening’s activities at the high school.
HPISD spokeswoman Helen Williams said the latest note was found in a boys restroom — the same restroom where similar notes were found on three consecutive days in January.
Although the previous threats were being investigated by local officers, University Park police decided Wednesday to work with the FBI to determine the perpetrators.
“We’re going to utilize the FBI because of their technology,” said Holman. “We’ll probably use their technicians and their lab.”
He also said police would use surveillance footage from video cameras outside of the bathroom in their investigation. When this story went to press, police had not interviewed any students and no arrests had been made, Holman said.
Holman said police aren’t sure whether the notes and the shell casings are connected. The perpetrators are facing felony charges either way, he said.
On Wednesday afternoon, the district sent an email to parents informing them that classes would run as scheduled Thursday morning.
“After spending hours investigating each of the incidents in partnership with law enforcement officials, we have concluded that there was no legitimate threat to public safety,” the email said. “We feel it is imperative that we move forward with school, and we are taking extra steps to minimize the risk of further disruptions.”