Threat prompts closure of high school of teacher on leave over Trump pinata

WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- Classes at the high school of a teacher who was placed on leave over a controversial President Donald Trump pinata were canceled Monday after a threat was received through social media.

Weld County School District RE-5J Johnstown-Milliken did not specify that the threat was related to the controversy at Roosevelt High School in Johnstown.

"It is always my intent to keep our students safe," Superintendent Martin Foster said.

The district said in a statement the school was closed as a precaution "based on a potential threat against the school and our students."

Foster said officials were notified of the threat early Monday morning and consulted with the Johnstown Police Department.

"We determined that more time was needed to assess the credibility of the threat and ensure the safety of our students," Foster said.

"Recent tragedies around the country and in our own state have heightened everyone’s concern for the safety of students. I want to assure you that we take all threats seriously and immediately involve the police in every instance.

"Students need to be aware that law enforcement agencies are taking these threats very seriously and are pursuing prosecution even when such incidents are intended as pranks."

Foster said all after-school activities, including games, will not take place.

"When students return to RHS (on Tuesday), we will have additional police officers onsite to show support for our students and our community’s commitment to ensuring their safety," Foster said.

Several posts on social media said there was a planned student walkout over the pinata incident.

On Saturday, the district said an unidentified Spanish class teacher had been placed on paid administrative leave. Photos circulated online of a Cinco de Mayo incident that showed students smashing a pinata with Trump's picture on it.

The photos showed the pinata on a tree with a bat in the hand of a student from the school. The post was later removed.

The school district said it would launch an investigation on Monday.

“This was an incredibly disrespectful act that does not reflect the values of Roosevelt High School or the school district," Foster said.