Police had a presence at Highland High School’s Homecoming over the weekend due to reports of a possible threat against the school.
“Our top priority at HHS is the safety and well-being of our students and staff. This weekend, Highland Police and HHS administration dealt with rumors about a possible school shooting. Please understand that we are talking about rumors; we have no evidence that any student came to school or a school event with a weapon or ‘plan of action,’” Highland High School principal Dr. Karen Gauen wrote in an email to parents and school staff Tuesday morning. “However, news events from Sandy Hook to Las Vegas have taught us that rumors and off-handed comments cannot be taken lightly. The police and administration continue to work together to keep our school community safe. Thank you to parents, staff, and students for everything that you do, every day, to keep HHS a safe place for every student to learn.”
Lt. Chris Conrad said Highland Police took a report Friday night — the night before Highland’s Homecoming dance — from a co-worker of a high school student who reported that the student had been making verbal threats of violence toward the school while at work.
“It concerned the co-worker enough to tell their family and report it to the police department,” Conrad said.
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The police department contacted the school district and initiated an investigation, which led them to believe there were not any credible threats to the homecoming event Saturday night, Conrad said.
“However, we did work with the school district staff to increase security and added additional police presence for the dance and coronation,” he said.
Conrad said the investigation is ongoing, and the police department is working with the Juvenile Division of the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office to reach a conclusion.
“It is important to note that the co-worker did exactly what we want folks to do in this situation,” Conrad said. “It is important for everyone to be vigilant and report suspicious behavior and comments. We are very grateful the co-worker acted in such a responsible and timely manner. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”