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Local middle school seeks calm after revelation of student plan

Students, parents at Sabin Middle School affected

Sabin Middle School seeks calm after...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Sabin Middle School in Colorado Springs tries to recover from the discovery of a plan by two students to kill classmates and staff.

On Tuesday, a day after the plan was made public and four days after the students were arrested, a mother and her daughter stood outside the school to reflect on the incident.

"The police caught the people who threatened us, so I see no cause for panic," said Lucilia Soto, a Sabin eighth-grader.  "I think we're getting back to normal here.  But the school had principals and counselors walking around to check on us and make sure we're OK."

Soto's mother, who declined to speak on camera, agrees with other parents that authorities should have told most of the school community last Friday about the plot, instead of waiting until Monday to make it public.

Annette Cleveland agrees; she said her son was on a "kill list" six years ago, similar to the one apparently formed by the student suspects.

"The school (District 11) and police need to do more," she said.  "They need to inform parents, they need to inform the community."

Police Lt. Howard Black says he shares the concern but that police must be careful about what information they release to avoid compromising the investigation.

District 11 middle schools don't have school resource officers--technically police officers--as high schools do, but Black said the school district has its own security staff. 

"We both can bring in more resources if and when they're needed," said Devra Ashby, a D-11 spokeswoman.  "There's no need to increase security now because the people suspected of making threats have been arrested."

There were no obvious signs of increased security at the school Tuesday but Black said security could include plainclothes officers as well as uniformed officers.

Ashby said the district's millage levy request, if passed by voters next month, would place school resource officers in middle schools for the first time since 2011.

"It costs around $52,000 per officer," she said.

Authorities have released few details about the exact nature of the plot, where a cache of weapons came from and who provided the tip that alerted authorities.

But police Chief Pete Carey provided a hint during a phone interview on KRDO News Radio.

"It's a good example of parents paying attention, doing the right thing and coming forward with information," he said.  "It was rather disturbing, shocked at the ages (13) of these kids.  This is a success story in one way, but very disturbing."

Carey said the District Attorney's Office will decide whether the suspects, currently in custody at a juvenile facility, will be prosecuted as adults and their names made public.

Carey and D-11 Superintendent Nicholas Gledich were unavailable Tuesday for interviews with KRDO NewsChannel 13.

A parent told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that a meeting was held Tuesday evening at the school to update parents on the situation.

"I think the school board was to attend that meeting," the parent said.


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