Principal Michelle Chae Monday sent a follow-up letter to Lehman High School families, updating them after that morning’s check of students and packpacks as they entered the building. Close to 1,000 students did not attend school following the news of a threat found scrawled on a bathroom wall Friday.
Chae said people can “play a large role in the safety of our campus by watching, listening, and reporting.”
The full text of the letter is:
April 20, 2015
Dear Lobo Parents,
I want to follow up with you regarding today’s threat against Lehman High School. I know such events can be unnerving and frightening. I am happy to report the day went smoothly considering the circumstances. We enjoy a strong partnership with law enforcement agencies and that relationship was evident today with all the support they provided. They will continue to be present in greater numbers on our campus the rest of the week and as long as we need them. We even have some of our parents who are police officers with the Austin Police Department who have generously volunteered their time to help.
Safety is always foremost on our list of priorities. Both before, and of course after, this incident; it will remain a chief concern. I can’t publicly reveal every safety measure in place, but I can tell you that our campus works with law enforcement agencies year-round to stay ahead of potential threats and to provide the safest possible environment. You can help play a large role in the safety of our campus by watching, listening, and reporting.
Regardless of the motivation for today’s threat – whether it was real, a prank, or an outcry for help – we must and will treat such threats seriously. If you have any information that may help the ongoing investigation, please reach out to me or any Lehman staff member, or contact Hays County Crime Stoppers (www.callcrimestoppers.com/campus.html).
If you know of any student suffering a personal crisis, please also reach out to me or a member of my staff. We have the Hays Hopeline available to report concerns via the Hays CISD web page (www.hayscisd.net/hopeline). Both services are also available through the Hays CISD smartphone app (available free at the Apple App Store on iTunes or on Google Play).
We have received a number of inquiries about whether absences today will be excused or unexcused. We are not able to mark these absences as excused. However, we will not use an unexcused absence today to trigger any referrals to truancy court for those who have exceeded the maximum number of allowed unexcused absences. And, we will allow students to make up their coursework without penalty of any kind.
I also want to remind our students and staff that they must have their ID on and visible at all times and be in dress code. These are additional measures that will ensure a safe and productive learning environment for our Lobos.
There are many people to thank for making today safe and productive. Our students deserve much credit. They were very cooperative, polite, and respectful, and I am proud of them. We also want to thank you for your understanding, trust, and partnership.