Classical Academy Principal Reinstated

By: KKTV Email
By: KKTV Email

Hugh Di Petore, principal of The Classical Academy, was reinstated Friday by the school’s board of directors. He was put on administrative leave after parents expressed outrage over the school's handling of incendiary devices found on the campus.

It was later uncovered school officials knew for days about a number of suspicious devices left on campus, but failed to report them. The packages were found on April 2 but not reported until four days later. They turned out to contain incendiary devices, consisting of propane tanks, flares, rubbing alcohol and a model rocket engine.

The board was also informed for the first time Monday night about a third device identified prior to the incident last week. That device contained a jar of rubbing alcohol and various smoking fireworks.

The school's president, Dr. David Bohn, resigned on the heels of that incident.

Students, however, rallied behind Principal Di Petore. In just one day, 242 out of 560 students signed a petition in support of him being reinstated.

Although police spokesperson Barbara Miller says that an arrest was made in connection with the incendiary devices, she was unable to provide any identifying information about the suspect because they are a juvenile.

The suspect faces charges of possession/use or removal of an explosive or incendiary device, a felony, and interference with staff or students of an educational facility.

Miller was able to confirm that the investigation did focus on one person of interest early on. They conducted several interviews and then arrested the suspect.

Sources tell 11 News the suspect is a sophomore at the school, but neither the school nor police will confirm.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by resident on Apr 13, 2012 at 05:44 PM
    The school and district administration needs to step up and figure what is going in these kids head. No simple, knee jerk solutions. They never work or last. Society is tough enough, and possibly the kids home environment is lacking.
  • by Roger Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 12, 2012 at 02:56 PM
    As a parent of a current HS student (and a graduate from Class of 2011), I am as concerned as the next parent with the recent handling of the "incendiary" device(s) around the school/students. I have read the TCA emails, and read and/or listened to the news reports about this event or series of events. For all I know, it could all be an elaborate PR pitch, and as such, do not have specific knowledge of who mishandled the procedures/processes. Therefore, I cannot assign blame based on PR. What I do know is that Principal Di Pretorie is a selfless and giving person....who always has the kids best interests at heart. It would surprise me greatly to learn that he was the one to mishandle things, but if he did, I have every confidence that lessons have been learned and that it will never happen again. As such, I fully support the retention of Principal Di Pretorie after his temporary administrative leave. I suspect that if parents had the opportunity to sign the petition, the percentages would match the students'. I'd sign it in a heart beat.
  • by DanReeves Location: The Further on Apr 12, 2012 at 08:37 AM
    FREE MR. CLARK! - FREE MR. CLARK! - FREE MR. CLARK!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 12, 2012 at 07:23 AM
    Slow news day, huh.
  • by anon on Apr 11, 2012 at 07:55 PM
    The reason for the delay in reporting it was probably a cover-up. This is a school that likes to think it is above the others--and admitting that a student was there who could try and blow the place up wasn't the PR they wanted. So they tried to hide it...hahaha, see how well that worked? Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.
  • by TCA Alumni on Apr 11, 2012 at 09:17 AM
    STOP IT!!!! You are trashing the school because all of you were unable to get your children in so they ended up at Pine Creek Rampart or Liberty where kids pull knives and throw punches and bully rithlessly. You wanna know something? TCA is by far one of the most prestigious schools in Colorado! I'm proud I graduated from there. Because I am doing well in college and can actually keepup with the work! Wanna know why? Because I went to TCA and was prepared for college only because of my teachers! You call it a joke school? You're kidding right? Pine Creek, Rampart, Liberty, those are the joke schools! Unlike your kids TCA kids are good and smart and succeed! Our school is safe! Safer than any other school here! Di Pretorie is the best principal that school has ever had! He cares about all the students and their safety! So please stop trashing our school because you're jealous that unlike the other schools, we recieve a high quality education. I trust in TCA and know that every student there trusts them as well. Thank You TCA for advancing the students well past college level education. Thank You!
    • reply
      by Ooooook on Apr 11, 2012 at 09:29 AM in reply to TCA Alumni
      Lol k. There are many schools, public and private around that do the same. I honestly do not think that people posting here are upset that their kids didn't get into TCA. I think either they attended the school and it didn't fit with their kids, didn't attend and have no desire to attend or just want to start trouble. It's really not worth getting upset over! As for trashing the school, the drama was brought on by parents from the school, without the parents kktv would have NO story bc no one would have stepped down. Maybe you should write a letter to the board stating your feelings, that may be more productive than ranting to random people on a message board.
    • reply
      by C'mon on Apr 11, 2012 at 01:32 PM in reply to TCA Alumni
      You don't attend TCA anymore, move on with your life. Why should you care if a school is being "trashed" if you do not attend it anymore. You must be one of those losers that hangs out at their high school for years after they graduated. High school's over, time to grow up and move on.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 06:56 PM in reply to TCA Alumni
      Little heavy on the exclamation points there, Alumnus (it's Alumnus or Alumna, by the way, Alumni is the plural). People have been flaming TCA, and their poor argumentation itself is enough to invalidate their opinions. TCA is far far from perfect though. Not every student here trusts the administration, so you don't actually know that. TCA is a great school, but it's not due in the least to the administration or board. It is due entirely to the high-caliber and passionate teachers we have.
  • by TCAMom Location: Briargate on Apr 11, 2012 at 08:24 AM
    Agree with Ridiculous! I am a TCA Mom with three students attending. The entire incident was blown way out of proportion. I had every confidence (and still do) that my children were safe. It is unfortunate that overeaction cost a good man and leader, like Dr. Bohn, his job, and Principal Di Pratore is now on leave. I have full confindence in the TCA Administration and Board.
    • reply
      by TCA Mom of three on Apr 11, 2012 at 05:11 PM in reply to TCAMom
      Totally agree
    • reply
      by Are YOU kidding me on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:26 PM in reply to TCAMom
      Are you listening to yourself? You are Okay with leaders of your children hiding the truth from you? Really? Does your husband lie to you too? Is that okay? I didnt think so. So, why is it okay for leaders whom are with our children for most of their day to lie to us? It's not! Dr. Bonn did the right thing. The only non cowardly act of the whole episode. Dr. Bohn is a coward for letting the HS Principle take the fall for this! And the HS Principle should have called 911. No question. For this he must go. You have to have common sense for this job. He does not, or he would have called 911 no matter who told him not to. He Must Go NOW! TCA parent.
  • by Ridiculous Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 11, 2012 at 07:55 AM
    What I have read, what was found was a couple propane tanks, rubbing alcohol, some flares, and boxer shorts. None are inherently dangerous, all, possibly incendiary, including the boxer shorts, and from what I can tell, the administration acted (not over-reacted) responsibly. So some of these helicopter parents want blood for Dr. Bohn not calling in a swat team ASAP?
    • reply
      by Oooooook on Apr 11, 2012 at 09:40 AM in reply to Ridiculous
      Why weren't the authorities called when they found the device? That would have avoided ALL of this drama in the first place. These all may be great people, this all may have been blown out of proportion but it also all could have been avoided if common sense was used in the first place.
      • reply
        by anon on Apr 11, 2012 at 08:05 PM in reply to Oooooook
        Yes, WHY weren't the authorities called. Cover-up sound likely? Instead, they tampered with evidence by removing the materials, and risked putting many people in possible danger to avoid letting the public know what was happening. Criminal charges might need to be added onto the terminations of the administration members who tried to sweep this under the rug to protect the school's reputation. How's that working for you now, TCA???
    • reply
      by Parent on Apr 12, 2012 at 12:27 PM in reply to Ridiculous
      Imagine if these items had been placed in a carry-on bag at an airport. I can't believe anyone would feel safe if they were just quietly placed in a back room while the passenger rode around on a plane all day. Obviously they was cause for concern and action. The same parents who feel that the situation was blown out of proportion are very fortunate that a serious incident did not occur. Many schools in recent years have not been so lucky No school has high enough test scores or "good" enough students to take safety for granted.
  • by Clint on Apr 10, 2012 at 07:42 PM
    I love how the TCA supporters aren't commenting on the fact that members of the administration have stepped down yet choose to debate with someone who is just attempting to rile them up....what do the parents think about the recent developments?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 05:02 AM in reply to Clint
      I think the parents are those types that are followers more tan leaders...they just send their kids there cuz biff and muffy do....if it is funded by taxpayer dollars....than its a PUBLIC school.....so I want to know the salaries and what is the schools "core" principals...cuz if "church" or anything related to "politics" is discussed or organized by teachers during school hours and out of the classroom...heads are going to roll
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 05:49 AM in reply to
        If you are tring to be immature it's working. I would never say "cuz" by the way, carry on.
      • reply
        by Roger on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:12 PM in reply to
        Yes, as a charter school, TCA is funded by tax dollars. However, charter schools receive way less than "regular" public schools. Care to guess who makes up the difference? Me....the parent through contributions to the TCA Titan Fund. I cannot comment on administrative salaries, but teachers' salaries are easily 10-15% less than D-20 "regular" schools. The teachers with whom we've had interaction would certainly enjoy a pay raise, and for the most part, deserve one. Is it a conservative school (politically and religiously)? Yes. Is that really a bad thing? To wit: my first daughter graduated last year and is doing GREAT in college .... as an engineering student .... at a world-class engineering university ..... enrolled in honors classes. TCA prepared her for what was to come....math, science, and learning how to think and reason. If we had to put up with some conservative ideology to reap those benefits, it was more than worth it. Daughter #2 is still at TCA, and am looking forward to see how she takes advantage of the great opportunities TCA provides.
    • reply
      by Ridiculous on Apr 11, 2012 at 07:57 AM in reply to Clint
      From the information of the threat given, I think the whole thing is overblown and absurd. I feel sorry for Dr. Bohn, and I have never met him, and I have a child attending TCA cottage school.
    • reply
      by TCA Parent on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:32 PM in reply to Clint
      Dr. Bohn, is a coward! He sat at the board meeting and let the Principle take the fall for His call. This is a checks and balance system at TCA. Therefore principle had to call president, and president said not to call 911. Principle has to go too. He should have made better choices. Call 911. What's the harm if there is no problem? No problem, no press! Right! Problem, lots of press. Not calling 911 YOU get fired!
      • reply
        by Bob on Apr 13, 2012 at 04:58 PM in reply to TCA Parent
        Dear TCA Parent, try not to embarrass yourself with your irrational thinking and lack of facts. You really ought to know the difference between "principle" and "principal."
  • by Anonymous on Apr 10, 2012 at 02:39 PM
    Is this "academy" funded by tax payer dollars?? if it is why is there a "president" at the school??? and of course if tax payer dollars are involved...than there cant be "prayer" meetings...I am just wondering cuz it sounds like one of those "tea bagger" things where they hate the government...dont want to pay taxes..yet take money for a "school"
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 10, 2012 at 02:44 PM in reply to
      It's a charter school that has been using tax payer net and getting away with pretty much anything they want.
      • reply
        by Please on Apr 10, 2012 at 07:22 PM in reply to
        Enlighten us as to what you are referring with "pretty much anything they want." We're eagerly awaiting new revelations.
    • reply
      by ... on Apr 10, 2012 at 07:24 PM in reply to
      There's a president because it is a charter school. The president sees that the charter of the school is being carried out. Funded by the government, but at significantly lower percentages than full public schools. There are no "'prayer' meetings" set up or run by the school. And the correct word is "then", not "than" in that context.
    • reply
      by Student on Apr 10, 2012 at 09:41 PM in reply to
      These "Prayer Meetings" are student led so it is completely in the rules of a public school. And by the way our parents willingly pay taxes and do not hate the gov't just the misuse of the tax dollars.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 04:58 AM in reply to Student
        its good to know that they are Democrats...thanks
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 04:57 AM in reply to
      just wondering....I am going to have to dive up there ...as a taxpayer ...I am a little concerned about how MY money is being spent...I want to check out the ethnic ratio...what text books are available...and what activities the school offers...I also want to see what the teachers are all about...just wondering if it is like that "Cesar Chavez" school...were everyone was related and got paid millions
      • reply
        by The other anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 06:16 AM in reply to
        You seem to have quite a bit of hostility against this school.. Did you get kicked out or something for your negative attitude?
      • reply
        by Sure on Apr 11, 2012 at 06:37 PM in reply to
        What are the odds you actually look into this? You realize functionally none of your money is actually going to this school. But stop by any time, we'll be happy to show and explain whatever you're interested in.
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