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Woodland Park schools reopening; reward for information on threat increased

March 1, 2018 Updated: March 2, 2018 at 8:08 am
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Woodland Park High School - Via Google Maps

After two days of being closed due to a credible threat of violence written last week on a bathroom wall in the high school, Woodland Park School District RE-2 will resume classes at all five of its schools on Friday, spokeswoman Stacy Schubloom said Thursday.

The investigation is still open, she said, however, law enforcement "made progress" and Wednesday, the day referenced in the graffiti at the high school, passed without incident.

"For this reason, the district supports Woodland Park Police Chief Miles DeYoung's recommendation that students and staff return to school tomorrow," Schubloom said in a news release.

Woodland Park police and the Teller County Sheriff's Office have been working with the district's safety and security team as well as the administration to create a plan for students to safely return to buildings, according to Schubloom.

Enhanced safety measures include searching buildings and grounds with police dogs on Thursday, placing law enforcement in all buildings "for the immediate future," and discussing what's happened with students, as appropriate for each age level, and having counselors available.

The small mountain community west of Colorado Springs receives very few threats, according to Cmdr. Jim Halloran of the Woodland Park Police Department.

The threat initially was deemed noncredible after it was discovered on Feb. 23 but was elevated for reasons Halloran said he would not discuss.

The community is planning an upcoming Town Hall meeting to discuss safety in schools, Schubloom said, although the details have not yet been worked out.

"That's coming soon," she said.

A community meeting with a panel of experts on school safety also is being planned in Colorado Springs in upcoming weeks, according to El Paso Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby.

Numerous credible and unsubstantiated threats have been made at various schools throughout the Pikes Peak region since the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Several have resulted in students being arrested.

The Woodland Park Police Department is continuing to investigate the threat and has increased a reward for information about a suspect from $500 to $2,100. Tipsters can call the Police Department at 687-9262 or the anonymous Safe2Tell hotline at (877) 542-7233.

The two lost school days will be made up through extending the school day or adding days to the school year, Schubloom said.

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