Update: Roosevelt High School in Johnstown will be open for classes today, May 9, following yesterday's closure.
In an announcement from the Weld RE-5J School District, Dr. Martin Foster, the district's superintendent, writes that local police say a possible threat over a Roosevelt Spanish teacher's use of a President Donald Trump piñata has been discredited. Apparently, the whole thing was fueled by rumor.
See the complete release below, followed by our previous coverage.
Second letter about Roosevelt High School closure:
Dear Weld RE-5J Families:
I am writing to provide you with an update on the potential threat against Roosevelt High School that caused us to cancel school today. At this time, the Johnstown Police Department’s investigation has revealed no credible threat. Interviews with students and family members have led law enforcement to believe that there was no direct threat of violence, and that any presumption of a threat was based on rumor.
Again, we ask that if you or your student has any information related to this incident, please call Safe2Tell Colorado at 1-877-542-7233 or police dispatch at (970) 587-5555 and ask to be connected to the Roosevelt High School resource officer.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Johnstown Police Department for their partnership and immediate action in launching an investigation to ensure the safety of Weld RE-5J students. As we said in the previous communication, there will be an increased law enforcement presence at RHS tomorrow and around other district schools to show support for our students and our community’s commitment to ensuring their safety.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the cancelation of school and afterschool activities at RHS today. We made the decision out of an abundance of caution, and to give us the time we needed to launch an investigation and ensure the safety of our students. School and activities will go on, as scheduled, at all Weld RE-5J schools [on May 9].
Dr. Martin Foster
Original post, 10:56 a.m. May 8: Classes at Roosevelt High School in Johnstown were canceled today because of at least one threat made in the wake of a social-media uproar over a Spanish teacher who allowed students to hit a piñata festooned with photos of President Donald Trump to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The story has gone national, with media organizations such as Fox News spreading the tale and whipping trolls nationwide into a frenzy over the decision to put the teacher on paid administrative leave.
The incident spread on Facebook thanks to posts like the following, shared by the parent of a Roosevelt student:
So, this happened at my daughter's high school today. The Spanish teacher allowed students to destroy a pinata that had Trump's face on it (unclear if it was his idea or a student driven idea, but regardless it was allowed). UPDATE: According to students, the other side of the pinata had a picture of Mexico's president, Enrique Peña Nieto. There are multiple videos of this all over various students' social media accounts.
Now it's no secret I didn't vote for Trump, and I'm certainly not his biggest fan. I'd be outraged by this if it was Obama or Bush or Clinton. It's really unbelievable, especially right here in little ol' Johnstown, Colorado (a town which is honestly fairly conservative).
I will definitely be taking this up with the school.
Dr. Martin Foster, superintendent for the Weld RE-5J School District, which includes Roosevelt High, attempted to put out the fire with a strong statement: "This was an incredibly disrespectful act that does not reflect the values of Roosevelt High School or the school district." But his announcement that the teacher had been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation failed to cool every temper. Here are some of the posts left on Foster's Facebook announcement:
Who needs a pinata when you have rapes and murders by illegals on the daily?
Libtard Open Border Pro-crime Indoctrinators must be purged from academia.
So, the "unnamed" teacher gets a paid vacation for this....nice punishment these days. Methinks that he/she should not be paid but either fired or resigns. If this was an Obama pinata I suspect that the punishment would be more severe...hypocrisy rules for "progressives."
The teacher needs to be fired and a permanent letter of reprimand put on their educational jacket.
I have to say that no school especially in this small town should "Hit a piñata with the president's face on it!"
Yes this is a big deal, and should be addressed, among all the other problems our schools are having.
If it were any other President they would be fired. WHY are they on PAID leave? Sitting at home collecting money from MY TAXES?
Blatant disrespect for the office... no matter who our President is, they are still our President! This teacher crossed the line.
More indoctrination from the filthy left. Fire this ignorant teacher for inciting violence against our POTUS.
The situation got worse this morning, according to another Weld RE-5J release, which notes that local police advised administrators to close Roosevelt for the day because of a threat. "Recent tragedies around the country and in our own state have heightened everyone’s concern for the safety of students," Foster writes. "I want to assure you that we take all threats seriously and immediately involve the police in every instance."
At this writing, we don't know if the aforementioned threat was posted online or delivered in some other way. But with so many trolls incensed by what happened, there is no shortage of suspects.
Below, see a video of the piñata-whacking and the complete text from both school district releases.
Letter to parents about Roosevelt High School closure:
Dear Weld RE-5J Families:
As you may know, we closed Roosevelt High School today as a precaution based on a potential threat against the school and our students. We were notified about the potential threat today, in the early hours of the morning. After consulting with the Johnstown Police Department, which is handling the investigation, we determined that more time was needed to assess the credibility of the threat and ensure the safety of our students. In addition to closing school, all afterschool activities at RHS (including games) have been canceled.
Recent tragedies around the country and in our own state have heightened everyone’s concern for the safety of students. I want to assure you that we take all threats seriously and immediately involve the police in every instance.
I encourage you to talk with your child about the seriousness of threats and the importance of reporting suspicious activities, threats or disturbing information to a trusted adult. If you or your student has any information related to the potential threat, please call Safe2Tell Colorado at 1-877-542-7233 or police dispatch at (970) 587-5555 and ask to be connected to the Roosevelt High School resource officer.
Students need to be aware that law enforcement agencies are taking these threats very seriously and are pursuing prosecution even when such incidents are intended as pranks.
When students return to RHS tomorrow, we will have additional police officers onsite to show support for our students and our community’s commitment to ensuring their safety.
I appreciate your continued support of a safe learning environment for our students.
Dr. Martin Foster
Superintendent of Schools
Weld RE-5J School District
Original statement about piñata incident:
ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL SPANISH TEACHER PLACED ON ADMINSTRATIVE LEAVE
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Milliken, Colorado — It has come to the attention of the Weld County School District RE-5J Johnstown-Milliken leadership that on Friday May 5, during a Spanish class at Roosevelt high school, President Donald John Trump’s picture was placed on a piñata as part of a Cinco De Mayo event. Facebook photos show the piñata, the piñata tied to a tree, and a student with a bat in hand near the piñata.
The teacher in charge of this class has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the school district that will commence on Monday, May 8.
Dr. Martin Foster, Superintendent, stated, “This was an incredibly disrespectful act that does not reflect the values of Roosevelt High School or the school district.”