DENVER (KDVR) — So-called “swatting” incidents are by no means a Colorado phenomenon, and records suggest students are not the ones mostly making the calls.
A series of hoax calls shocked Colorado schools on Wednesday, affecting thousands of students and parents.
In apparently alphabetical order for most, the calls claimed imminent violence requiring police presence in more than a dozen different schools, including:
- Alamosa School District (Ortega Middle School) – 8:24 a.m.
- Aspen School District (Aspen High School) – 8:28 a.m.
- Aurora School District (Aurora Central High School) – 8:30 a.m.
- Boulder Valley School District (Boulder High School) – 8:33 a.m.
- Brighton School District (Brighton High School) – 8:40 a.m.
- Cañon City Schools (Cañon City High School) – 8:45 a.m.
- Denver 911 – 9:00 a.m.
- Durango School District (Durango High School) – Specific time unknown
- Englewood Schools District (Englewood High School and Middle School) – 9:19 a.m.
- Estes Park (Estes Park High School) – 9:23 a.m.
- Gilpin County School District (Gilpin County School) – Specific time unknown
- Morgan County School District Fort (Morgan High School) – 9:38 a.m.
- Roaring Fork School District (Glenwood Springs High School) – 9:45 a.m.
Several other school districts, including Littleton, Ouray and Steamboat, received shooting threats Wednesday afternoon.
Colorado swatting law put to use
Colorado’s day of hoaxes is an all-too-regular occurrence nationwide.
Between September 2022 and the present, there have been at least 52 school days during which swatting calls have hit U.S. schools, according to news reports compiled by the National Association of School Resource Officers. Over half of the incidents involve multiple schools targeted in the same state and in the same day.
Court records say it is adults, not students, who are typically making the calls.
The Colorado General Assembly made it a felony in 2018 to call emergency services with a false report or explosives, weapons or chemicals. Since January 2019, it has been used 69 times against 62 defendants.
The average swatting defendant age is 41 years old. None of the defendants were younger than 23 years old.