Police: Suspicious backpack at Fairview High School was a science project mistakenly left on bus

Morning finals canceled

BOULDER, Colo. - The suspicious bag that prompted Fairview High School to cancel Monday morning finals was actually a science project that was mistakenly left on a school bus, Boulder police said.

The incident happened exactly one week after an explosive device was discovered at Centaurus High School in Lafayette. Police arrested a teenager in that case.

In this case, a school bus driver found a bag left on a bus that contained a device that appeared to be comprised of PVC pipes with wires coming out of them. Some of the pipes were taped together and connected to a battery, according to police.

Police said the driver of the bus didn’t believe the bag and its contents were dangerous or suspicious, so he took the bag into Fairview, in an effort to return the bag to the student.

However, a Fairview staff member took it back outside and placed it in the parking lot on the west side of the building as a precaution.

Police said they used a robot and camera to view the bag, and a student positively identified it as belonging to him. He told police he had accidentally left the reusable grocery bag on the school bus on Friday, and said it contained an electro-magnetic project he had made for a class. The device was not an explosive.

No threats were ever made, and the incident appears to be accidental, police said. No charges will be filed against the student.

"The package found was not a danger or threat to the safety of the school," officials said in an email to parents. "After hearing about the situation, a parent and student described the package in detail. It was a science project that was found on a bus."

Students were moved to the auditorium and gymnasium on the east side of the school campus during the investigation. The school was not evacuated and there were no injuries.


There are approximately 1,200 students on campus this week instead of the normal 2,000 because seniors took finals and graduated last week.

Finals were scheduled for 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Monday.  The  morning's finals were canceled and will be rescheduled for later in the week. Afternoon finals will be held as scheduled.

Police remind anyone who finds an unattended bag or suspicious package to use caution. If an unattended bag causes a person to be suspicious, it’s best to leave the bag where it is (don’t handle it) and call 911 immediately, providing the bag’s location and description, and wait for police to respond.

Print this article Back to Top