AURORA, Colo – A parent of a Rangeview High School student is speaking out against the school’s response to potential threats last week.
On Friday, two teenage boys were detained after one allegedly brought a BB gun to school.
The Aurora Police Department said a Snapchat photo of a student with a gun in his waistband surfaced, and that’s when police responded.
However, one parent told Denver7 there were threats made to the school earlier in the week.
“I was a little scared on Tuesday,” said Sonia Abdelsalam, who has two kids that attend Rangeview. “My son got an AirDrop message about a kid bringing a gun to school on Tuesday. He said the message said a person has a gun and they’re coming back to the school on Wednesday. So a lot of kids were like ‘we’re not going to school on Halloween. I don’t want to get shot.’”
After Denver7 spoke with Aurora Public Schools, a spokesperson confirmed the district was aware of some type of threat on Tuesday. However, that threat was not linked to the BB gun incident.
What Abdelsalam is upset with is the message the high school sent to her phone via text message.
In the recorded message sent to parents, it said:
“Rumor about threats have been spreading at school today. Please take the time to speak to your student about the seriousness of spreading rumors. We take all reports seriously.”
“I believe this message contradicts itself,” Abdelsalam said. “I told my son did you tell anyone? He goes, ‘every time I bring it up, they said well make sure it’s not a rumor.’ I feel like they’ve been silencing kids about telling them especially with a message like that.”
The message goes on to say that the school encourages students to report any threat to an adult.
When Denver7 asked APS about this message, APS sent this statement:
“Safety is our top priority in Aurora Public Schools. We take all reported threats seriously and work closely with law enforcement to investigate them. We encourage students to report any safety concerns through the proper channels by reporting them to a trusted adult or anonymously through Safe-2-Tell at 1-877-542-7233. We are committed to providing students with a safe and positive learning experience every day.”
APS also told Denver7 that it continually evaluates its messaging to figure out ways to improve it. APS said the message was about encouraging students to report threats to authorities instead of posting them on social media.
However, Abdelsalam wants APS to re-word its message, and also change its approach when it comes to its students.
“I just want them to not intimidate kids to not tell you what you need to hear,” Abdelsalam said.