An unsubstantiated threat over the phone prompted a precautionary evacuation at Westpark Elementary School Thursday morning, but a thorough search of the campus by the Irvine Police Department and IUSD found nothing out of the ordinary. As such, students and staff re-entered Westpark and finished out the school day.
As police continued their investigation, Westpark parents were advised to pick up students at the regular time. In an abundance of caution, and to ease anxieties, IPD maintained a uniformed presence for the rest of the day.
Here’s a notice that was sent to Westpark families by email and phone Thursday morning using IUSD’s new emergency notification system.
Dear Westpark parent:
Westpark Elementary School has initiated a schoolwide evacuation after an unsubstantiated threat was called into the campus office.
Specifically, an anonymous source claimed an explosive device was set to detonate. The telephone call came in at approximately 9:45 a.m., and our staff immediately began an orderly evacuation and contacted the Irvine Police Department.
Though police have not found evidence indicating this is a credible threat, officers and school staff are conducting a thorough investigation and will not permit students or employees back on campus until they have confirmed it is safe. At this time, all Westpark students are safe and accounted for on the field, and there is no need to pick up students early.
For the parents of kindergarten students who will be picking up children at 11:20 a.m., they may be picked up on the field adjacent to San Mateo and San Carlo. Note that parents will need to sign out their children with the classroom teacher or another Westpark staff member.
The safety of students and staff remains the No. 1 priority of Westpark Elementary School and the Irvine Unified School District, which is committed to working closely with the Irvine Police Department to ensure all threats are fully investigated, regardless of whether they are perceived credible. On a side note, I want to let you know that our students did a remarkable job of following instructions and transitioning in a safe manner.
As always, we appreciate your patience and support and will communicate new developments throughout the day.