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Colorado Springs charter school will begin a day late after threat prompts closure

August 10, 2016 Updated: August 10, 2016 at 9:04 am
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A possible threat to safety that led James Irwin Charter Schools to delay the start of the school year Wednesday won't keep kids from the classroom long.

The school posted on its Facebook pages that classes will go forward as planned Thursday.

A "security situation" prompted the closure Wednesday, the school's Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Berg said. He wouldn't elaborate on the potential threat, which he called a "rumor," but said the school would be closed until police could "clarify" the situation.

Police have since determined there was no credible threat, he said.

"In this day and age it's really difficult to determine that," Berg said, defending his decision to close the school.

Colorado Springs police have not finished their investigation, but Lt. Howard Black said they "are at a point to feel comfortable that it's not a credible threat."

He declined to provide more detail, but said the threat appears to have originated online and involved students. He said police found "inappropriate conversation going back and forth with some students." Black also said "there could still be some criminal liability" for those students.

Some parents took issue with the lack of information the school has released, leaving critical comments on James Irwin's social media sites.

More than one mother of elementary-age students said she does not feel comfortable sending her children to school without knowing more about the threat.

Another commenter defended the school.

"Sometimes future safety relies on not everything being released publicly," the commenter said. "Please give our wonderful administrators and (Board of Directors) some grace here as they are attempting to manage a stressful situation and prepare for back to school of our children."

Berg had a message for concerned parents: "It will be safe."

Wednesday was supposed to be the first day of school for James Irwin's 1,600 students, but the delay won't have much of an impact.

The school had scheduled more class days than required by law for potential snow days and other unexpected time off, like Wednesday's event, Berg said. Students won't have to make up the missed day, he said.

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Contact Kaitlin Durbin: 636-0362

Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin

Facebook: Kaitlin Durbin

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