It was the last day before Spring Break for students at Highlands Ranch High School. Students were finishing their work before they left for break. Ten minutes prior to the end of the day, the intercom came on, releasing students early. As soon as they left their classrooms, they were herded out of the building as police cars came speeding up to the building. A bomb threat had been written on the walls of a bathroom stall, and with two more threats made earlier this year, it was best to take them seriously.
According to an email sent to parents explaining what had happened, the school had been searched and was declared cleared at 9pm. In an announcement on Wednesday, April 1st, a $250 dollar award was put out for any information leading to an arrest. However, recently two students confessed to the crime and had been “motivated by getting out of school early and causing a disruption to the school day”, according to the email. The two students have not been linked to the threats written earlier this year.
As a result of prior threats, there was elevated security at school, as well as many students missing. Each threat has been taken seriously, as the goal of schools is to provide a safe education to their students. With the recent threat, there was no time to get security or let parents know, so they were forced to evacuate.
Students have some conflicting opinions on the threat. Brittany Hall, sophomore, and Aubrey Hutton, freshman, agree that most people in the area are paranoid, and should release what was written as the threat. But for Trevor Rex, senior, he said, “They (the students who made the threats) need to understand that law enforcement is going to take action as if it was actually going to happen”. Grant Christenson said they “should be counseled, maybe, but not suspended”. When asked if the students should be kicked out of school, only one out of the four said yes.
Christopher Ness, the administrator at HRHS responsible for security said there was no specific information about the threat. When asked about the punishment for the students, he said, “They’re being investigated by the Douglas County Sheriff and so there are going to be things there, legally, and then they’ll also receive school discipline, but we can’t go into specifics on certain discipline for students.”
He also said students should not spread rumors about the threats, as it gets in the way of the investigation. People spread a lot of false information, according to Ness. For now, most of the case is still private while the investigation is underway.
Things are back to normal at Highlands Ranch High School for now. Hopefully, the threats will fade away from memory as talks about prom, graduation, and summer break flood the conversations of students.
Guest reporter John Baughey