5 Adams 12 Five Star high schools on high alert after ‘overwhelming’ number of threats reported

THORNTON, Colo. — Adams 12 Five Star Schools has received more than 40 reports of safety concerns at five high schools, including Horizon, Legacy, Mountain Range, Northglenn and Thornton, officials said Tuesday.

A letter sent to parents from Superintendent Chris Gdowski said tips have been fielded anonymously through a Safe2Tell program and officials “anticipate the number of reports will continue to escalate throughout the evening and into (Wednesday) morning.”

The letter notes the number of reports has been “overwhelming” and Adams 12 has been in contact with neighboring school districts and confirm the reports are consistent with what they, too, are experiencing.

The letter encourages parents to have a candid conversation with their child about their plans to possibly participate in one of the nationwide school walkouts to protest gun violence scheduled for Wednesday.

So far, there are no plans to cancel classes.

We are writing to let you know that Adams 12 Five Star Schools has received a high volume (over 40 at this time) of anonymous Safe2Tell reports this evening raising safety concerns at each of our five comprehensive high schools (Horizon, Legacy, Mountain Range, Northglenn, and Thornton) for tomorrow March 14, 2018. We have been in contact with neighboring school districts in the Denver-metro area and this is consistent with what they are experiencing.

We anticipate the number of reports will continue to escalate throughout the evening and into tomorrow morning. The overwhelming number of reports that are coming in during this short timeframe will compromise the ability of our district security team, in partnership with local law enforcement, to investigate the credibility of each individual safety concern. It will also make it difficult for the district to provide timely updates to you about any new threats made and any adjustments we make tomorrow morning to planned activities at each school site.

We encourage parents to have a conversation with their child about tomorrow’s events and anything they may have heard or seen on social media about potential safety concerns at their school. We encourage you to determine whether your child will engage in a planned walkout; any parameters on his/her participation; and the need for him/her to immediately report any threats/concerns that come to their attention to a staff member.

As you already know, the national school walkout/demonstrations have been largely publicized on social and news media for weeks. When student events occurring outside of the building and/or off campus become highly publicized, students become vulnerable to the potential actions of individuals with malicious intent.

To ensure the safety of our students, we ask that you partner with us in reminding students that staying inside of the school building is the safest place to be tomorrow. We are working in partnership with local law enforcement to provide additional safety measures for those students staying on school property but who choose to leave the building. The district security team and local law enforcement will not be able to give their full attention to any one school during the day tomorrow. As a reminder, any students leaving school grounds will not be supervised by school or district staff.

I am deeply saddened that tomorrow’s planned focus on the pervasiveness of violence within our nation’s schools has been compromised by multiple threats of additional violence, but hope that this additional information allows you to talk to your child and make informed decisions about tomorrow’s activities.