A 16-year-old Cherry Creek High School student will no longer face criminal charges after Greenwood Village Police and the school’s superintendent reached an agreement for the return of several missing ACT and Advanced Placement tests stolen from the school late April 22.
According to Cherry Creek School District spokesperson Tustin Amole, the student will also not be returning to school within the district.
Greenwood Village Police spokesperson Crystal Dean confirmed Police Chief John Jackson worked with the school’s superintendent, Mary Chelsey, to reach an agreement for the return of the missing test materials.
“I think it was really more important to preserve the integrity of the test,” said Dean of the department’s decision to not press criminal charges.
But emotions between some students and parents regarding the deal are mixed.
“I kinda agree with the decision not to press criminal charges,” said one Cherry Creek junior affected by the theft. “I think it was probably more important to just get the test back before it could be sold or copied, but the school should do something, like banning this person from ever taking the test, and mentioning that their transcript…this is a big violation of the student handbook.”
“Personally, I hope there is at least a suspension involved,” said the student’s mother who asked their names not be published. “There certainly should be some sort of strict disciplinary action taken if no criminal charges of theft or breaking and entering are going to be sought. If not, what kind of message does that send to students?”
Amole said the school will also be looking closely at what happened and why.
“We will review our security procedures to see if there is anything we should do differently next year,” she said. “The tests were stored in a secure, locked room, according to all recommended protocols. The intruder used a variety of tools to cause significant damage to the door to gain entry to the room.”
Amole emphasized it’s important to remember that this was an isolated incident and no one in the district can recall it ever happening before.
The break-in occurred April 22 and entry was made through the basement of the west building at the high school. Surveillance video revealed a single individual entering the building late at night and then leaving with several objects in hand.
The theft forced school officials to reschedule testing, affecting more than 800 juniors who were to have taken the exam on April 24. Testing has been rescheduled for May 8, which is the previously scheduled statewide test make up day.
ACT is an abbreviation for American College Testing, and is a standardized examination designed to evaluate high school academic achievement.