Rumors of violence lead East Grand schools to close day before winter break
School officials, Granby police struggle to trace rumor back to its source
A persistent rumor of school violence that surfaced last week became so pervasive by Wednesday that East Grand schools decided to cancel one day before the schools were to go on winter break, Superintendent Frank Reeves said.
On Dec. 11, Granby police received a Safe2Tell tip about threatening statements made by a juvenile at the Middle Park High School. An investigation led to the juvenile being removed from the school, though the threat was determined to be unsubstantiated, according to Sgt. Amy Ryan-Williams.
The district has emphasized that no other schools were included in the alleged threat, or in the new rumors, and school administrators believe all East Grand schools are safe.
Because of the nature of the tip, however, school officials decided the schools’ mission would suffer, as too many students would likely struggle to focus on their education in light of the rumors.
With that in mind, and out of an abundance of caution, the school district decided to cancel school on Thursday and postpone after-school activities, Reeves explained.
He said that school administrators and police investigators have been trying to chase down the rumors, to find out how and where they started, without any luck.
“That’s been part of our frustration, we can’t pinpoint anything specific,” Reeves said, likening investigating the rumors to unraveling a game of telephone, in which you never really know exactly who said what.
Reeves surmised that he and Granby police could probably go door to door, speak to every student and every parent in the district, and they still might never find out how the rumors got started.
“My fear is that we’ll never ever get to the bottom of it,” Reeves said. “I will tell you, what we absolutely know right now is a threat was made last Wednesday. Beyond that, we have not been able to substantiate anything.”
Regardless of how the rumors began, Reeves said it was “very clear” by the end of the day Wednesday that too many students wouldn’t have felt safe in school on Thursday and that was the biggest factor in administrators’ decision to cancel.
This is at least the second reported school threat in Grand County this year.
In October, officials at West Grand High School were made aware of a threat against the safety of the school’s students and staff after a student apparently made a remark in reference to school violence. However, authorities in Kremmling soon determined it was not a viable threat.
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