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STEM student's mom 'expressed concerns about a repeat of Columbine'

Concerned STEM mother calls board member warning of shooting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A letter detailing a phone call between a concerned mother and Douglas County School board member has been released, and the school district may have been warned of a toxic culture at the STEM School where a fatal shooting took place this week.

Back in December of 2018, Wendy Vogel, the DCSD Board of Education director, received a phone call from a woman who claimed to be the mother of a STEM student. She declined to identify herself but outlined several concerns she had about the school.

The letter, with notes from the phone call, was sent to Penelope Eucker, the Executive Director of the STEM School in Highlands Ranch.

It says the mother claimed, "there is an extremely high drug culture at STEM: students dealing and using cocaine, meth, marijuana, and LSD, including putting marijuana in drinks. Several students have gone to rehab."

The letter called the school a "perfect storm," specifically calling out "group think and students who don't understand things and are susceptible to 'copy-catting.'" The text also says "the individual expressed concerns about a repeat of Columbine or Arapahoe."

Another letter was sent in February, but this time to parents.

It said, "these outrageous accusations of criminal behavior of our outstanding and dedicated volunteer Board threatens their very professions. An investigation by STEM Board and staff leadership revealed no evidence of these allegations."

It's still unclear if these claims are related to the shooting on Tuesday afternoon.

The two suspects, 18-year-old Devon Erickson, and 16-year-old Maya Mckinney, also known as Alec have had their most recent court hearing re-scheduled for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse.

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