Cheyenne Mountain High School increased police presence Friday after a student made verbal threats to shoot a classmate and social media posts that included a gun, Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 Superintendent Walt Cooper said in a letter to parents Thursday night.

School administrators received a report Wednesday of a student making “direct verbal threats of shooting a peer after an altercation at a lunchroom table.”

Through interviews with students, they learned that in addition to the lunchroom incident, the student was connected to two social media posts, one showing a firearm, Cooper said in his letter.

Administrators reported the activities to the Colorado Springs Police Department and suspended the student while police investigate.

The extra officers Friday patrolled parking lots and entrances to “ease tensions as kids came onto campus” for those who might feel “overly anxious or uneasy,” Cooper said.

In response to criticism from parents about the late notice, Cooper told The Gazette by email that he purposely did not alert parents two days ago because “unlike a similar issue at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High in February that I felt did warrant an email to parents across the district immediately, we had all day to investigate and work through this issue with CSPD, our mental health team, and our threat assessment team, and to respond appropriately, both in terms of disciplinary action and with a follow-up plan even before school was out for the day.”

The main objective in such situations is to “ensure we are doing what we need to do to ensure our students safety and maintain normalcy as best we can, but to neither underreact nor overreact, both in terms of responses and communications,” Cooper wrote.

Cooper said he sent the message to parents about 11 p.m. Thursday to quell rumors and misinformation being spread on social media.

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Twitter: @lizmforster Phone: 636-0193

Twitter: @lizmforster

Phone: 636-0193

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