SALIDA, Colo. (KDVR) — A Salida high school principal is facing four misdemeanor charges stemming from an incident with a student in crisis and a lockdown at the school last week.
The original call to police stated there was a suicidal person who claimed to have a gun walking toward the school.
According to the arrest affidavit, Principal Talmage Trujillo connected with the person, who was a student at another school, and then refused to tell police where they were.
The affidavit says when officers talked to Trujillo on the phone, Trujillo said he was with the person, and they were going to lunch. When officers asked to talk to the person, Trujillo allegedly said no.
Unable to verify where the person was, and if he was armed, the police kept the school on lockdown until both people were located and no gun was found.
Trujillo is facing charges of harboring a minor, obstructing a police officer, obstructing government operations and first-degree official misconduct. The affidavit also says Superintendent David Blackburn came to the school and officers claim his behavior was interfering and disruptive.
Blackburn allegedly told officers to “Get the f*** out,” of his school. Now some district parents are frustrated with the principal and the superintendent.
“They had the cops on wild goose chases. They were asked very rudely to leave the school. The lack of understanding and respect for chain of command, withholding and lying about the whereabouts of this individual, is completely unacceptable,” said one parent who did not want to be identified.
In an email to our station, the district spokesperson Kim LeTourneau said in part, “It is our understanding that Principal Trujillo was doing what many of our staff members would have done – put in the time to help a student in need.” She added, “… buildings were locked down until it was clear that the student in question didn’t have a weapon and in fact needed support and understanding.”
The school board plans to meet in a closed executive session on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 4:15 p.m.
The district released this statement about what will happen in the meantime:
“In the meantime Principal Trujillo will remain on paid administrative leave. SHS Dean Cory Scheffel is acting principal while Mr. Trujillo is on leave. Superintendent Blackburn will also be out of the office on a previously scheduled and approved vacation through Tuesday, October 5.
This continues to be an open investigation and personnel matter that will be handled through thoughtful navigation in reviewing the day’s events as information is provided to the Board.”