Local authorities have identified a juvenile student as the sender of texts that threatened Highland Park High School on Wednesday evening, according to a statement from the City of Highland Park.
According to the City the juvenile told police the messages “were not meant to be taken seriously,” and police reportedly determined the student did not have the means to carry out an attack as described in the texts.
Police referred the student to the county’s juvenile division for potential charges, and the city did not share further details on the student or the investigation.
According to a Sept. 28 message from Township School District 113, an individual sent text messages to at least two two HPHS students on Sept. 27 that threatened a shooting at HPHS. A teacher heard students discussing the messages and informed school administration. The school alerted the police department around noon.
Police reportedly increased their presence at the high school and all Highland Park schools for the rest of the day, and the school redeployed its weapons-detection system at the school entrances.
The incident occurred about six months after a Highland Park High School student was arrested for bringing a gun to school on April 4, causing a two-hour lockdown. The April incident also sparked a movement to increase security measures at the high school, and prior to the school year, the district voted to add metal detectors and more safety enhancements districtwide.
The incident also came while another Highland Park school, Red Oak Elementary, is investigating a series of threats, including bomb threats, that caused two school evacuations.
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