Columbine High School and schools that are close to it in the Colorado area were put on high security alert and also lockout status earlier Thursday after receiving numerous telephone threats, stated the Jefferson County sheriff’s office on Thursday afternoon. Being put on lockout means that the school continues on with its day as usual but that nobody is allowed to enter the building or leave it, explained sheriff’s spokesperson Mark Techmeyer in a news release.
Jefferson County Public School officials put up a tweet on Twitter that each of the students and staff were safe, but due to the lockdown, there was no one allowed to come or go. Police were investigating the threats which came in by way of telephone. Techmeyer stated that there had been numerous phone calls which had come in that were threatening to Columbine High School. He explained that there have been over hundreds of these types of calls since the massacre happened and the sheriff’s office took all off of them very seriously. However, the events usually do not last long. This time, the spokesperson said that there were three phoned in threats which were made against the high school and they all had come in around 10 a.m. Colorado time.
Back on April 20, 1999, Columbine High School experienced one of the nation’s worst school shooting massacres ever. Two heavily armed students from Columbine, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, ended up murdering 12 students and one teacher. They also injured another 24 students, before the two killers each committed suicide inside the school library.
In addition to the high school going on lockdown, there were several elementary and middle schools in the surrounding region that also were put on lockout as a security measure, Techmeyer added. Those affected were Dutch Creek, Leawood, Normandy, Blue Heron, Governor’s Ranch, and Columbine Hills elementary schools; Ken Caryl Middle School and of course Columbine High School itself, stated police officials. Sheriff’s deputies were sent to Columbine to investigate the situation. Techmeyer also stated that the deputies went into Columbine as a safety precaution. He said the lockout procedure allowed classes to go on as scheduled inside the building but locks out the outside perimeter.
The district reports that students and staff remained safe inside after the threatening call came in during the morning. School officials sent out a tweet, as was stated above, telling that everyone was safe. It read that Columbine area schools were currently in lockout mode but that all students and staff were safe. It also told about the police being in the process of investigating the threats which had been made toward Columbine High School. The Tweeter message was sent out around 10:12 a.m. Colorado time.
It was only in December of 2013 that a disturbed teen committed suicide after killing a fellow student at Arapahoe High School, which was around 20 miles from Columbine. That alone brought back horrible images and memories of that terrible spring day in 1999.
The lockdown on Thursday was lifted around 2:15 p.m. because police decided the threat was not credible, However due to such tragic occurrences like the murder last month, or what Columbine High School went through itself, the Colorado area will probably never feel safe when it comes to their schoolchildren ever again.
By Kimberly Ruble
The Denver Channel