Welcome back from spring break
by Mark Reaman
A brief precautionary “lockout” at the Crested Butte Community School was implemented Monday just before 9 a.m. Local law enforcement investigated the cause for concern, and the lockout was lifted by about 10:30 a.m.
According to school superintendent Leslie Nichols, “Lockout is a response to a possible threat outside the building and is simply securing the perimeter to ensure that all entries/exits to/from the building are supervised. Business as usual occurs inside the building.”
A statement released Monday by the school administration said, “The District learned that a GHS graduate living outside of Crested Butte made concerning posts on social media over the last 24 hours threatening primarily self-harm but also using language suggesting his anger could be directed outward. On the whole the threats were vague and not directed at any specific people or schools.”
Nichols said while the person in question resides near the school, there was never any direct threat to the school or its students. “The decision to go into lockout was based on conversations with town of Crested Butte law enforcement including concerns about the person’s possible location close to school. There was no mention of any schools or school-related items in the social media posts,” she emphasized.
Mt. Crested Butte Police Department information officer Marjorie Trautman said the move was made out of “an abundance of caution.”
“On Monday, April 21 at approximately midnight, a Mt. Crested Butte police officer accompanied by a Crested Butte marshal conducted a welfare check on a 19-year-old male who resides in the area,” Trautman explained. “Concern for the man was raised after a series of social media posts implied he was expressing thoughts of self-harm. After contacting the man, the officer concluded that he was not a threat to himself or others. No direct threats were made towards any person, group or entity in the social media posts. On Monday, April 22 the Gunnison High School was made aware of the social media posts and based on the location of the man’s residence the message was passed along to the Crested Butte Community School. Out of an abundance of caution, the Crested Butte Community School went on lockout.”
The district maintained a state of “heightened awareness,” through Monday which meant staff are informed regarding the situation and will report any concerns to administration or law enforcement immediately. That status was lifted Tuesday morning.
“Sheriff Gallowich has reported no further activity with this case and that their active investigation warrants removal of our Heightened Awareness status,” Nichols told parents in an email.
The Gunnison Sheriff’s Department in coordination with all municipal law enforcement agencies continues to investigate and to monitor this situation and will keep the school district posted on any further developments.