Aberdeen High School students saw a heightened police and administrative presence when they returned to school Wednesday, following a report of a threat against the school discovered on a bathroom stall and also shared on social media.
The threat, whose content was not disclosed by police, was not deemed credible, but police said the investigation into who left it continues.
“We don’t believe it to be credible, but of course we take all precautions when anything like this surfaces,” Lt. Will Reiber, a spokesperson for the Aberdeen Police Department, said Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday morning, a single Aberdeen Police Department car was parked outside the school’s main entrance, but no officers were around it. Otherwise, the situation appeared normal.
AHS Principal Michael O’Brien declined to comment. No additional incidents were reported Wednesday.
There were 667 students absent from Aberdeen High Wednesday, according to Lindsay Bilodeau, acting manager of communications for Harford County Public Schools. She said Wednesday’s rate of attendance was 53.61 percent of the student body of approximately 1,440.
The threat against the school had been written on the door of a stall in a girls’ bathroom, and a photo of the message was shared on social media, according to a Harford County Public Schools statement posted on the Aberdeen Police Department Facebook page.
A parent reported the threat to the school administration around 2:15 p.m., just after dismissal Tuesday, according to Bilodeau.
The school alerted police and the HCPS Department of Safety and Security, according to an emailed statement from Bilodeau.
Parents and guardians were alerted via the HCPS Blackboard Connect5 system at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to Bilodeau.
There will be an increased police presence, as well as that of school administrators, Wednesday “out of an abundance of caution,” Bilodeau wrote.
“We take all reports of threats seriously and will continue to remain vigilant,” she continued. “The safety of our students and staff is our utmost priority. Under no circumstances will HCPS tolerate anyone creating a climate of fear for our students, families and staff.”
Aberdeen Police investigated several threats of violence, made over two days, at Aberdeen Middle School last month.An eighth grader was arrested and charged with threatening mass violence and disrupting school operations, police said at the time.
Reiber said police are glad such threats are being reported.
“Each threat is investigated until it’s determined to be credible or not credible,” he said. “It causes disruptions to the school day, so we’re looking at this through very serious lenses.”
Anyone who has information about the threat can contact school staff, faculty or administrators, or the school resource officer. Information can be reported anonymously to the police department by calling 410-272-2121.
This story is updated from an earlier version.