Boulder parents ask district for earlier alerts following school threat


BOULDER, Colo. — This week, a school day ended as quickly as it started after droves of students exited Fairview High School following the circulation of a school threat on social media.

Principal Scarlet Chopin said on Wednesday the threat came through Safe2Tell and showed two social media posts made by an 18-year-old man who threatened violence at the school. That same day, Boulder police arrested the man for the threats. The 18-year-old doesn’t attend Fairview High School.

Shortly after on social media, parents shared gratitude for a swift arrest, but aired grievances about Boulder Valley School District’s methodology to alert parents throughout the ordeal.

“We would’ve preferred to have some sort of notification earlier in the day,” a parent of a Fairview High freshman said.

The school district notified parents about the threat via email at 10:17 a.m., according to correspondences shared with Denver7.

“[My son] was already home before the school notified any of us,” the parent went on to say.

Randy Barber, a district spokesperson, said the warning was sent once the threat was deemed credible. All the while, the school perimeters were secured by law enforcement, Barber explained.

“It’s understandable why this community is at a heightened alert,” he said, referring to last year’s mass shooting in Boulder. “Unfortunately, you know, in this day and age, social media moves very, very quickly, faster than we can move in terms of trying to make sure the information that we’re gathering is factual to share back out.”

Barber said the district is committed to reviewing its response to the incident, including its communication to parents.

“In retrospect, now, we’re looking at how can we send something sooner,” he said.

Barber said absences would be excused for students who left campus on Wednesday.