Students react to threat: ''I feel safe in my school, but all the news makes it scary'


With the day off from school, 16-year-old Arapahoe High School students Ava Jones and Samantha Knox spent time at the coffee shop across the street.

“Every year, something bad has happened,” Knox said the morning of April 17 in Centennial. “Since I've been at Arapahoe, you learn how to deal with it.”

Jones didn't fear an incident happening, but she was happy students in the Littleton Public Schools District had the day off.

“I feel safe in my school, but all the news makes it scary,” Jones said at the Starbucks. “The state and (LPS) dealt with it well … we're more aware now. I'd prefer that because I don't want to be in the dark.”

A woman who made threats that caused school districts across the Denver metro area to cancel school April 17 was found dead before noon that day, according to authorities, but during a search for her that ended in Clear Creek County, Knox was on edge.

The woman reportedly was obsessed with Columbine High School and came from out of state just days before the 20th anniversary of the shooting there April 20, 1999.

“Technically, she could be two blocks away — it's terrifying,” Knox said.

But Jones refused to “halt” her life, she said.

“Even if I could be in danger,” Jones said, “I don't want to focus on fear.”

LPS schools will be back in session on April 18, but the district said in a letter to parents and staff that there would be "an increased presence of district security and local law enforcement throughout our district, in and around our schools and at activity/athletic events tomorrow and in the coming days."

"While it is our goal to get back to a normal schedule as quickly as possible, we are also mindful of the 20 year mark of the Columbine High School tragedy on Saturday," the letter states. "Please keep our friends and family in the Columbine community in your thoughts."

The nearby Englewood Schools district announced to families the news from the FBI that the threat had concluded and said school will be open April 18 with “heightened safety, security and vigilance.”

“We will reach out later today about our plans for the rest of the week,” the district announcement said.

Schools will be open April 18 in Cherry Creek Schools, the district announced to families.

No Columbine-related threats or issues were reported through Safe2Tell, an anonymous reporting system, in the Englewood or Cherry Creek districts, spokespeople for those districts said.

“Thank you for your continued support and patience,” Cherry Creek district's announcement said. “We remain committed to the safety of our students and staff.”


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