HIGHLAND PARK (CBS 11 NEWS) – Three threats of violence in three days at Highland Park High School have parents anxious for answers.
Thursday, another threatening note was found inside the school. This comes a day after .22 caliber bullets were found in the boys restroom.
While police and the FBI try to find who is responsible, a group of more than a dozen parents met Thursday night on their own hoping together they could learn more about what’s been going on at the school.
Kristi Patrick, who attended the parents-only meeting at a local restaurant, said, “Obviously parents are scared.”
Patrick kept her ninth grade son home from school Thursday because of the threats and said she’s considering keeping him away until those responsible are caught.
“He is 15 years old,” she said of her son. “He doesn’t have a car and he is still very vulnerable.”
Most parents left the hour long meeting declining to talk to the media.
Friday, investigators will continue to collect and analyze DNA evidence from the notes in hopes of identifying the culprit.
The note found Thursday was similar to the notes found the past two days.
The handwritten notes were described as “disturbing” and characterized as bomb threats by the University Park Police Chief, Gary Adams.
School administrators sent out a text alert to parents stating that another threatening note had been found, but they chose not to evacuate students as they have the past two days.Thursday morning.
The note was found by a police officer on the top of a stairwell out of sight of the schools surveillance cameras.
“It was between classes so we have a lot of student traffic in the hallway. It was obviously just dropped by someone,” said Chief Adams.
Investigators are now working to narrow down the person or people responsible for the recent threats.
Several students were seen on video going into the school bathroom where a threatening note was found.
”What we’re doing is looking at the security tape- the film of who was in the bathroom- the restrooms at that time and we’re questioning those particular students,” Adams said.
The FBI is helping with the student interviews and is also conducting forensic testing on the notes and the dozens of .22 caliber bullets that were found in a school bathroom.
University Park police officers will remain at the school until further notice.
”There’s just armed guards sitting around it makes me feel safe,” said Joe Slagel, a senior at Highland Park High School.
Though students are taking the threats seriously, they say they are getting tired of the constant disruption.
“It’s definitely an irritation to our everyday life,” Slagel said.
Superintendent Dr. Dawson Orr said the threats have taken a toll on the entire community. Orr says there will likely be felony charges filed when and if the person responsible is caught.
“I just hope the individual doing this will pause and think about the consequences not only to their classmates but to their own future,” he said.
The district is also discussing the use of metal detectors at the school in the coming days and has asked the police department for metal detecting wands.
There is now a $7,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment of a suspect in this case.
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