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Arrest made following pattern of ‘escalating assaultive behavior’ at a Colorado Springs school

Vista Ridge High School, Colorado Springs.
Vista Ridge High School, Colorado Springs.(KKTV/Nichole Heins)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 7:34 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2021 at 5:04 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado Springs high school has canceled classes Monday as a precaution while police and administrators investigated possible threats against the campus. Monday afternoon, police announced a juvenile was arrested as part of the investigation.

The Vista Ridge High School principal sent a letter to parents Sunday explaining the decision and reassuring families all safeguards were in place.

“As always, the safety of our campuses is non-negotiable. Although we do not believe there is a verified threat to our campus, we will use the time Monday to ensure we thoroughly investigate reports that present any potential danger to our students and staff,” the letter stated.

At the time of this writing, the nature of the potential threat has not been released. The principal stated there were concerns over a “recent pattern of escalating assaultive behavior on the VRHS campus” as well as other reports that investigators were looking into.

Administrators hope to resume school as normal Tuesday.

The full letter to parents can be read below:

“Dear Parents and Students of Vista Ridge High School,

I want to once again thank all of you for your care and support as we address concerns reported last week. Even as we process a recent pattern of escalating assaultive behavior on the VRHS campus, we are monitoring additional reports which require appropriate follow up—confounded by a strain on staffing levels both at VRHS and our law enforcement partners at the Colorado Springs Police Department. Because aspects of our investigation and planning are still developing, VRHS will cancel classes and activities Monday, December 6.

As always, the safety of our campuses is non-negotiable. Although we do not believe there is a verified threat to our campus, we will use the time Monday to ensure we thoroughly investigate reports that present any potential danger to our students and staff. In collaboration with our safety and security team, along with CSPD, VRHS will address all serious reports, supporting all students involved. As we plan our return to normal activities, we will deploy additional resources to strengthen the safety and security of our campus.

As administrators investigate and address this situation, we understand the discussion is continuing outside of school, creating a level of anxiety and enhanced alertness on the part of our students, staff, and community. We commend those students and families who share information through Safe2Tell and other channels, demonstrating great pride in their school as partners to ensure the safety of our campus. This is why Vista Ridge is an amazing place to work, learn, and lead!

Tomorrow, we will share more about the progress of our investigation. As we shared previously,we are committed to investigating all misconduct until we reach appropriate, supported conclusions and assign proportionate consequences for all involved. Please look for that information in your email tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, Monday is considered a “no school” day. All classes and activities are cancelled, and there are no plans for remote learning.Students should plan to return on Tuesday and continue preparation for finals next week.

D49 thanks our law enforcement partners and encourages all of our students and families to stay alert and report any suspicious activity. We thank you for your trust, understanding and support in this matter. The safety of students, families and staff on our campuses is non-negotiable. We will remain proactive to ensure a safe learning environment awaits every District 49 learner.

Thank you for your trust and understanding as we work together to make Vista Ridge the very best place for learning.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jason DaLee, Principal, Vista Ridge High School”

Just before 5 p.m. on Monday, Colorado Springs Police provided an update stating a student was arrested and charged with interference with school staff as well as being a juvenile in possession of a firearm. A family member of the student arrested was also served and released for failure to securely store a firearm, a class 2 misdemeanor.

“It is important to note that this is still an ongoing investigation and details will be released as appropriate and when they become available,” a news release from Lt. James Sokolik with the Colorado Springs Police Department reads. “Following these arrests, the CSPD continued to follow up on additional reports, and as of this time, we have found no credible threats.”

The student has not been publicly identified.

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