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Aspen School District responds to nationwide social media threats

Increased law enforcement presence on campus Friday

Aspen School District will have an increased law enforcement presence on campus Friday in response to videos circulating on the social media site TikTok that refer to nationwide threats of school shootings on Dec. 17, according to an email sent to the district community around 4 p.m. Thursday.

“This threat is not specific to the Aspen public schools, nor do we have any confirmed or suspicious activity at our schools, but nonetheless, we take matters of safety very seriously,” the email states.

District officials learned of the situation around midafternoon from a notice issued by the Colorado Information Analysis Center, which is part of the state’s department of public safety, said Aspen Superintendent David Baugh.



According to that “Situational Analysis Bulletin,” the Safe2Tell anonymous student tipline received 22 reports in Colorado referencing threats of Dec. 17 school shootings from El Paso, Boulder, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Larimer, Adams, Weld and Denver counties; the first tip came on Tuesday.

No such tips have been reported in Pitkin County, according to Baugh. He considers the threats to be unsubstantiated.




The notice included a screenshot of one of the videos circulating on TikTok, which did not itself include a threat but referenced potential for one. (The text on the screen reads, in part: “Everyone stay safe on December 17th … There is most likely to be shooting and bomb threats in every school … I’m not sure if this is 100% true but if it is here is your warning.)

“There’s absolutely nothing to indicate that Aspen School District is a target,” Baugh said. Still, it will be “all hands on deck” at the district Friday to ensure school safety, he added.

“This (is the) way parents can help us: they can check their kids backpacks (for weapons) … and they can make their own decision on whether to keep their child home tomorrow,” Baugh said.

kwilliams@aspentimes.com