Update on Threat Investigation, 1:45am

September 22, 2016, 1:45am

Yesterday evening, I informed you that we had information on a potential threat to Westlake High School by a WHS student. As soon as the information became known to our high school administration, we immediately began working with the Travis County Sheriff's Office and Austin Police Department to assess the threat. The following information has more detail, and what we know now, as of 1:45 a.m.

We received reports yesterday from students and parents that a teenage male had made statements indicating that he was going to do harm to others at Westlake HS. We immediately shared the identity of that individual with the authorities, who have been working with us cooperatively through late evening and early morning to locate this individual and investigate the allegations.

At this time, we can report that the student who made the threat has been located and is being evaluated. Westlake HS will continue to work with law enforcement as those agencies determine what actions they need to pursue, if any. Based on information received from law enforcement, we do not believe that any students or staff members are in danger, and, as such, plan to resume school as usual on Thursday.

We understand that this type of an event can be troubling to many in our community. As I said in my message last night, we understand if parents want to keep their student(s) at home. We will honor parents' decisions regarding their child's attendance today. In order to provide support, we will ensure that counselors make their schedules open so that they are available to talk to students this morning, if any student feels a need for such support.

We thank the Austin Police Department and the Travis County Sheriff's Office for their hard work to quickly assess the situation, investigate, and work with Westlake HS staff on safety measures. We also thank the West Lake Hills Police for reaching out to us to provide additional support.

I want to reiterate how proud I am of the young adults in our community who acted quickly in alerting us to this potential situation.

I apologize for the late night and early morning communication on this situation, but we hope you understand that safety is very important to us. If we are made aware of possible security issues, we believe transparent and timely communication to parents, when possible, is essential. We take our responsibility to inform parents with as much information as we can when in serious situations such as these.

Thank you,

Tom Leonard

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September 21, 2016, 9:45pm

Safety is very important to Eanes ISD and to Westlake High School. If we are made aware of possible security issues, we believe transparent and timely communication to parents, when possible, is essential.

This afternoon, we were informed by parents and students about a possible threat made against Westlake High School that was supposedly to have occurred on Thursday. Westlake administrators immediately began working with the Travis County Sheriff's Office and Austin Police Department to assess the threat, which was made on social media and by comments to other students.

We will continue to partner closely with law enforcement to investigate the student and this supposed threat. Our administrators and local law enforcement will work throughout the night to determine its origin and to secure the campus for the staff and students' arrival in the morning.

We understand there may be questions whether it will be safe to send your student to school tomorrow. While we will take all the necessary measures, it is ultimately a family decision and students will not be penalized for missing school tomorrow. Be assured, however, we will have additional law enforcement on campus throughout the day as a precaution.

In the meantime, we applaud the students and parents who acted quickly in alerting us to this potential situation. These young adults and community members did the right thing: they responded to what they heard and saw and promptly notified school officials. Westlake High School is a safer place each day due to this level of action and vigilance.

Throughout this evening and into tomorrow, more information will be available as the inquiry continues. We appreciate your patience and we share your concerns.

Sincerely,

Tom Leonard
Superintendent
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