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D20 officials respond to rumors and parent concerns following potential threats from a former student

Potential threats to three D20 schools raised a lot of questions and concerns among families
Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 07, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS— In the wake of a former D20 studentaccused of threatening to shoot up three schools, parents say are concerned if safety measures work.

"We do feel confident in the processes that we have," said the Chief Communication Officer Allison Cortez.

Cortez said the district uses safety protocols regularly for non-credible threats.

"Sometimes there's potential threats against schools that parents never ever hear about because we're able to mitigate them so quickly," said Cortez.

D20 students have monthly lockdown drills and mock emergency exercises.

The school district uses the Standard Response Protocol. It includes getting students into classrooms, locking doors, and evacuating safely.

"Something we could do a better job of is helping our parents be able to reinforce what we're teaching students in the drills," said Cortez.

All campuses have armed district security. Middle and High schools have school resource officers.

Prairie Hill Elementary, Timberview Middle School, and Pine Creek High School were target schools.

Channing Hughes has a sixth-grade son at Timberview Middle. She said she's thankful the potential threats didn't become a reality.

"It is absolutely scary to know that was a possibility, but what I'm really taking away from it is the gratitude for the people we have in leadership," said Hughes.

Hughes said rumors caused fear and anxiety in her son and his friends.

"I don't think that he fully understands it, I do have concern that you know there's a lot of mixed-messages," said Hughes. "He already struggles with anxiety."

Cortez said the district had a clear communication chain from leaders to staff to students. She said they clarify rumors to parents as soon as possible.

The district just approved a new school phone system. Cortez said it will allow officials to know exactly where someone is if they call 911.

"[It] gives me great confidence that my kids are in a district is going to be looking out for them," said Hughes.

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