By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

PALESTINE – The campus of Palestine High School was placed on lock down Tuesday, March 27 after the discovery of a letter threatening violence on the campus.

According to a press release provided on the Facebook page of the Palestine Independent School District by PISD Public Relations Representative Larissa Loveless, Palestine HS administration was notified of the letter at approximately 11 a.m. The campus was placed on lock down a short time later, and a thorough search of the school and student backpacks was conducted by administration officials and the Palestine Police Department.

As of 12:35 p.m., no weapons had been located anywhere on the campus. Students were moved to an advisory period and taken to lunch in small groups.

Speaking to The Messenger at approximately 1:30 p.m., Loveless said the campus was no longer on lock down.

“I think there’s some confusion about that. I think because the kids usually go to lunch in larger groups, some of them may be texting parents saying they’re still on lock down,” Loveless said. “They’re just not all being dismissed in their normal lunch groups.”

Afternoon classes were expected to resume as usual following lunch.

When asked for further details on where the letter was discovered on campus, Loveless had no information and said that an investigation into the origins of the letter is currently underway by the Palestine Police Department.

“One would assume that it would have been possibly from a student, but you don’t know that without investigating,” Loveless pointed out. “The content suggested some sort of violence and a weapon – something that would have caused harm.”

In the press release, Loveless expressed determination on behalf of PISD to continue collaborating with the Palestine PD in the investigation of the letter.

“We are extremely appreciative and thankful for the willingness of all PHS students to consent to having their backpacks searched during the situation,” Loveless wrote. “The district also commends the quick response of the Palestine Police Department this morning.”

The efforts of the coaches, custodial and maintenance staff and teachers throughout the incident were also praised.

As of press time, officials with the Palestine PD were unavailable for comment.

The Messenger will provide more information on this incident as it becomes available.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.