Fairview H.S. students suspended after trying to extend spring break with molotov cocktails

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BOULDER, Colo. -- A group of Boulder high school students have been suspended after admitting that they tried to extend spring break by throwing molotov cocktails into their empty high school.

A security guard at Fairview high school called police after smelling smoke and finding signs of a small fire inside the south entrance on March 30. Officers found a baseball bat and rocks used to break two windows and then discovered the remnants of homemade molotov cocktails inside.

“It hadn’t burned very long but burned long enough to damage a bench,” said Briggs Gamblin, spokesperson for Boulder Valley School District.

Within hours, the school had repaired the damage, and two weeks later, news of the incident still caught parents off guard.

“I’m surprised that I hadn’t heard from the school or my daughter,” said Shana Beggan, who has two daughters who attend Fairview.

Gamblin said the district did not notify parents of the incident because students were not in danger and police were on the case.

“We did not want to do anything that might interfere with the police investigation,” he said.​

Administrators later identified six student suspects, who said their motivation "was to extend spring break for one or two more days."

Gamblin said the plan didn't work, students were back in class hours after the incident.

“There’s probably no way to really prolong spring break and you just have to face up to the fact that it’s time to come back to school,” Gamblin said.

“If they were truly trying to burn the school down so that they could extend spring break well … stupid," Beggan said. "Sounds like a teenage thing to do and could be dangerous.”

The students told police they "checked around the school to make sure no one was inside and they would not have gone through with it if they had seen any vehicles in the parking lot."

That may be one reason why Boulder Police didn’t arrest them. Instead, the students were referred to a restorative justice program and suspended for at least 10 days.

“We believe appropriate measures have been taken, working with the students and their families,” Gamblin said.

As a parent, Beggan says she agrees with the response.

“They’re young, they’re kids. Back when we were growing up a lot of people made stupid decisions and getting expelled from a school, having these kind of allegations can ruin your life,” Beggan said.