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Highland Park High School was evacuated at 11 am today after officials found a threatening letter on campus. Spokesman Helen Williams said the decision was made by principal Walter Kelly in conjunction with superintendent Dawson Orr.
Parents and students were notified of the decision via text message at 11:06 am. The message read "Highland Park High School is immediately releasing all students after a threatening note was found. Parents may pick up students at the multipurpose facility."
This is the fourth threatening letter found on campus in 2013. The first letter appeared on January 16 and was followed by two similar missives on January 17 and 18. School officials closed the campus on January 17, and police and bomb squad members performed an extensive search of the school grounds that evening but found nothing of consequence.
The school reopened on January 18, only to have another letter surface. This time, school officials did not deem the threat credible and continued with classes as usual.
No word yet on why this letter caused an evacuation while others did not. University Park Police Capt. Leon Holman told CultureMap that officers are making a sweep of the school, though he didn't have any specific information as to the nature of the threat.
In an email, HPISD officials stressed the severity of the situation. "Parents, please talk with your children about how seriously any threats, written or otherwise, are taken on campus," the email read.