Boulder substitute teacher investigated for failing to follow lockdown procedures

BOULDER, Colo. -- A substitute teacher at Fairview High School in Boulder is being investigated for allegedly ignoring school lockdown procedures during a gun scare at the school last week.

The Boulder Police Department said someone called 911 because they thought a student was carrying a rifle case.

The rifle case turned out to be a wooden color guard gun, but it sent the school into lockdown and four other schools nearby into lockout.

"We took it very seriously," said Louis Kehoe, one of the students in the teacher's freshman world geography class.

Kehoe said students had to take the situation seriously because their teacher did not.

Boulder Valley School District officials said an announcement was made over the school's intercom system declaring the lockdown, but the teacher didn't respond appropriately.

The teacher was sent home for the day and the district said he won't be allowed back.

"That's a big concern for us. Safety is a top priority at Boulder Valley," district spokesman Randy Barber said.

"We understand that these folks aren't in a classroom everyday, but they are provided training when they come into the school district."

However, some parents wonder whether the training a substitute teacher receives, in this case a packet of information about safety procedures, is enough.

"I think it was a confusing situation," said Paula Kehoe, the student's mother. "Kids have to take control now. They're living in a new world."

Kehoe is concerned her son was in a class with a substitute teacher who didn't follow procedure, but she said she's been a substitute teacher before.

"When you walk into a school, they give you a folder. By the time you get to the class, there's probably very little time to read about lockouts and  lockdowns," she said.

The district is not saying whether a confusion about a lockdown vs. a lockout is to blame, but the investigation continues.

The teacher's name has not been released.