Editor's note: Since the February 21 publication of the following post, there have been additional arrests and threats in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting on February 14. Get more information in our post "'Ima Shoot Up Bear Creek:' At Least 5 Post-Parkland Colorado Student Arrests." Continue for our previous coverage.
Original post: The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week has inspired plans for marches and student walkouts to call for tougher gun laws, including one scheduled to take place on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. But it also appears to have motivated a number of threats at Colorado schools, with three arrests taking place in recent days. Those taken into custody include a Jefferson County High School student whose social-media joke went terribly wrong.
The image at the top of this post reportedly originated on Snapchat as a gag aimed at the uninvolved male pictured above text that reads, "Im fucking done will all you assholes always making fun of me. The time has come. Dont come to school tomorrow if you want to live."
This attempt at humor, which quickly circulated through the student populations at Columbine and Dakota Ridge, another nearby high school, fell flat with a considerable portion of its audience. According to Jefferson County Public Schools, approximately sixty students reported the threat on the Safe2Tell app and another 200 dialed 911.
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In addition, panicked communications circulated on social media. One item reads: "Attention!!! Dakota Ridge High school. Don’t go to school today. Columbine wasn’t just one kid. This kid might have help so even if he’s taken into custody, there may be more putting the plan in motion. This world is so sad."
Another begins: "PLEASE READ IF YOUR KIDS ATTEND DAKOTA RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL!The police have been contacted and a reverse 911 will be done tonight to all parents of kids who go to Dakota letting them know about this incident."
Even though authorities quickly determined that the apparent threat wasn't legitimate (and released a statement to that effect), the student who posted it has been arrested and could be facing charges related to harassment and interfering with school operations.
In the meantime, two male students — one fifteen, the other sixteen — at Caprock Academy in Grand Junction received a summons for alleged threats of violence. And thus far, authorities haven't suggested there was supposed to be anything funny about them.
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According to the Grand Junction Police Department, the students were "overheard discussing last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and making comments that were perceived as threatening to the safety of the school." Several students who overheard this conversation shared what they heard with Caprock staff and law enforcement quickly became involved.
The students in question were subsequently interviewed by police officers, the GJPD account continues, and while the "investigation did not reveal any immediate threat to the safety of the campus," the pair were arrested on suspicion of interference with staff, faculty or students of education institutions, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and released to their parents.
"We want to commend the students who were brave enough to report this to school staff," the department states. "It’s imperative that students are able to be the eyes and ears of our schools, and that they feel safe in reporting something that could protect themselves, their fellow students, and their teachers. Please continue to encourage your kids to speak out about anything they believe could indicate a threat to their safety or the safety of others."
In response to the Caprock news, a local posted this: "COME ON PEOPLE, grow up and let's learn to play together nicely. What the hell is wrong with the parents that raise the children and the children that are supposed to take over the world when our generation is gone. This crap is getting out of hand."