Metro-East News

Collinsville dance canceled after school district receives threatening letter

A community group decided to cancel its annual dance for local students because of a letter threatening people who planned to attend.

Collinsville Tepee, which operates the youth center in town, announced through Collinsville Unit 10 on Thursday that the May Dance would not happen this year.

The dance is a local tradition that goes back more than 65 years, according to Tepee board member Jennifer Hasamear. The group usually schedules the event at Collinsville High School. This year, it was planned for Saturday, May 5.

But on April 23, Collinsville Unit 10 Superintendent Robert Green received an anonymous, handwritten letter that “conveyed a threat to the safety of persons attending the annual May Dance.”

Since then, Collinsville Police have been investigating to find the source of the threat. Green said previously that the police department reached out to the FBI and U.S. Postal Service for help.

As of Thursday, the investigation was still ongoing, according to a statement from Green. Anyone with information can contact the Collinsville Police Department at 618-344-2131.

Hasamear said students from public and private schools in the area raise money between March and April to support Collinsville Tepee. The tradition is to crown a May queen at the May Dance based on which of the students earned the most points during fundraising that year.

She said students and parents understand the decision to cancel because of safety concerns. “They just can’t believe that something like this could happen,” Hasamear said.

According to Hasamear, the event won’t be rescheduled this year because they still don’t know where the threat came from and because it’s near the end of the school year. She said they plan to bring it back next year.

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