Bomb threat causes scare at Rifle High |

Bomb threat causes scare at Rifle High

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colo. ” With less than 10 hours to go until summer break, Rifle High School students and staff were surprised Thursday afternoon with an emergency lockdown of the facility because of a bomb threat.

The lockdown was issued immediately after the school received a phone call at 12:45 p.m. warning school officials of a bomb in the building or on the school grounds. The lockdown was lifted around 2:10 p.m. after search crews from the Rifle Police Department, Rifle Fire Protection District and Garfield School District Re-2 staff found nothing threatening in the building.

Students were kept in their respective classrooms for the duration of the search, until it was determined that no threat was present, according to Theresa Hamilton, Re-2 director of districtwide services.

“Rifle Police suggested, and [Re-2 administration] concurred, that would be the best method at the time,” Hamilton said. “When dealing with an unknown danger, the last thing we wanted to do was evacuate the students and have the real threat be outside the building.”

Hamilton said keeping students inside the building was in no way a sign that the threat itself wasn’t taken seriously.

“We took it very seriously,” Hamilton said. “When there is a bomb threat, administration, the police and fire departments take it very seriously.”

The main reason for keeping the students in their classrooms, according to Hamilton, was that police didn’t know if the bomb was inside or outside the building.

Police weren’t answering questions regarding the investigation and had no comment on if there were any suspects.

“That is part of the ongoing investigation that I will not comment on at this time,” said Rifle Police Chief Daryl Meisner.

Nearly 420 students and a full staff were at the school at the time of the threat, which occurred only four days after the senior class graduated last weekend. Classes will continue as planned Friday, the final day of school. The school resource officer will be on duty, and Meisner said that additional officers could be assigned posts at the school if warranted.

“There may or may not be,” Meisner said. “It depends on the amount of staff we’ve got on tomorrow and if we see it as a needed precaution.”