School incident raises concern in Fremont County

Law enforcement to increase school presence until Christmas break

POSTED: 01:24 AM MST Dec 21, 2012    UPDATED: 05:45 AM MST Dec 21, 2012 
CANON CITY, Colo. -

The suspension of a middle school student on Thursday has raised fears about a possible threat to a school in Fremont County.

Just after 10:30 p.m. Thursday, KRDO NewsChannel 13 received a news release from the Canon City Police Department.  The release stated that around 3:40 p.m., police responded to Harrison Middle School on a report of harassment.

According to the release, school officials advised police that a 13-year-old male student had threatened a teacher, but that the student told police he had threatened to harm himself and denied threatening the teacher.

Police said the student is charged with interfering with an educational institution and menacing.  He was screened to be returned to the custody of his parents and will not be allowed to attend school until a determination is made on his status.

Within an hour, police said, the incident was reported on Facebook and other social media outlets.  Many of the reports in the social media were distorted and not factual and the police department has received calls that associate this case with other school districts.

As a precaution, Cañon City police will have an increased presence in area schools until the Christmas break.  The Fremont County Sheriff's Office and the Florence Police Department also will be stepping up their presence in the schools within their jurisdiction.

At least three people identifying themselves as Florence residents told KRDO NewsChannel 13 they began hearing around 9:30 p.m. Thursday that someone made a threat about a mass shooting at an unspecified Florence school on Friday.  The parents said they received the information from Florence police, and were planning to keep their kids home from school.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 called Florence police early Friday morning.  A dispatcher said someone would call back with more information. 

A Canon City police dispatcher told KRDO NewsChannel 13 confirmed the details of the release, that no threat has been made to any school in the area.

Stay tuned to KRDO NewsChannel 13 for updates.