False claims about staff and library books in the Cherry Creek School District led to a non-credible threat being made against five buildings
False claims about staff and library books in the Cherry Creek School District led to a threat being made against five buildings, according to a Sept. 26 letter from Superintendent Christopher Smith.
In the letter to families, Smith said that last week, the school district received hundreds of emails, calls and social media comments “making false claims about books in our libraries and actions of our teachers, staff, and district administration.”
The majority of these claims came from outside of Colorado, he said.
“This misinformation campaign led to an anonymous email making a threat against three of our elementary schools and two administration buildings,” Smith wrote.
The school district contacted law enforcement and notified impacted school communities after receiving the email, Smith said. His letter did not specifically name the three elementary schools.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office investigated and determined the threat was non-credible, according to Smith.
The school district is working with law enforcement to determine the source of the threat and monitor ongoing comments made related to district personnel and buildings via email, telephone and social media, Smith said.
Many of the books being targeted are books that address the LGBTQ+ experience, bullying and homophobia, Smith said.
“None of the books in question are offered in CCSD elementary schools,” Smith wrote. “We maintain libraries with age-appropriate materials available for students to see themselves represented or learn about the experiences of others who are different from them.”
No specific book titles were mentioned in Smith’s letter.
Smith said the school district believes all students should be able to see themselves represented in the educational resources the district provides.
He also said the school district takes “a very serious and thoughtful approach” to the materials that are available to students.
“I will not tolerate threats made to our community or abusive language or insults directed toward our teachers and staff members who genuinely care about our students and work tirelessly every day to inspire them to learn and grow,” Smith wrote.
“I will not tolerate harassment or attacks against our LGBTQ+ community,” he continued. “The attacks from last week were driven by hate and have no place in our schools.”Smith asked that if someone sees or hears potentially dangerous behavior or anything that could put students at risk, report it directly to the school, law enforcement, or through Safe2Tell at 877-542-7233.