South Routt high schooler arrested for allegedly threatening to bring gun to school
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A student from Soroco High School in South Routt County was arrested Sunday after allegedly making threats to bring a gun to school.
At 9:16 a.m. Sunday, the Oak Creek Police Department and Routt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of some threats the student made on the social media site Instagram, according to Undersheriff Doug Scherar. It appears multiple students saw the threat, and a school staff member reported the incident.
“It’s hard to tell if they actually were planning to do it,” Scherar said.
The identity of the student is not being released because the student is a juvenile.
An email about the incident was sent to parents across the South Routt School District on Sunday night, according to Superintendent Rim Watson. It notified them that the school had implemented its crisis and safety plan, which involves an increased focus on security at the school.
“There is no current threat against the district schools, students or employees,” the email said. “We are making sure we are informed at every step of this process and are ready to respond to any other developments.”
The email added that school would run as usual on Monday but with added security-monitoring measures. That included expanded law enforcement presence throughout the district’s schools, according to Watson.
“We are continuing to implement our standard safety procedures we have in place,” he said.
According to Oak Creek Police Chief Ralph Maher, Soroco High School has a dedicated school resource officer dedicated to protecting students and staff. That officer was off Monday, so Maher filled in.
He added that his agency has been developing more safety measures to prevent school violence. Those include monitoring social media and strengthening relationships with students so they are more comfortable alerting law enforcement or other authorities about safety concerns.
According to District Attorney Matt Karzen, the student has since been released to his family but remains under tight supervision as mandated by a pre-adjudication release plan. The student also will face punitive action from the district, but the specifics of the punishment have not yet been determined.
On Dec. 4, the Colorado School Safety Resource Center is hosting a free Safety Summit for middle and high school students and staff at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden. The five-hour event will help attendees develop solutions for various school safety topics, including substance use, mental health and violence prevention. Officials from the FBI will give a keynote presentation.