Aspen superintendent addresses school community about threatening message |

Aspen superintendent addresses school community about threatening message

Staff report

A threatening message written on the wall of an elementary school bathroom was removed and the “student who wrote the message has been identified and appropriate action has been taken,” according to a blast-email sent Friday by David Baugh, superintendent of Aspen School District.

The message was not directed toward an individual or particular group of people, the email said. School district officials became aware of the message after classes ended Thursday, the email said. Grade levels in Aspen Elementary go from kindergarten to fourth grade. 

“We are taking this incident very seriously and following the necessary protocols and safety precautions including working with our School Resource Officers, local law enforcement and our district safety team,” according to Baugh’s email. “A long standing practice in the district, based on 20 years of Secret Service safe school research, involves us also doing a threat assessment for our students experiencing duress. This is underway as we send this communication.”

Baugh’s email said children who saw the message circulated it among the school community, later saying, “We also understand that there has been communication shared in the community regarding this incident. We are addressing those concerns.”

The district staffs school resource officers on campus, and the public schools are having more drills that cover the basics of “hold,” “secure,” “lockdown,” and “shelter in place” actions in the event of a crisis situation, said the email, which added all district employees must wear photo ID badges while on campus, all visitors must check in at the front office, more security cameras have been installed, the entire staff is trained in CPR and first-aid, and access to outside visitors is limited to certain entry points.

The district also has a safety committee and school-crisis team, both of which regularly meet, while teachers and staff stay trained on response protocols in a crisis situation, the email said. 

“More than ever, it is important for us to come together and focus on moving forward in a constructive manner,” the email said. “As always, the safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. As parents and educators, we all share the same pain and stress, and we worry more than ever about the safety of all of our children and students.”


See more