Durango High School closed because of... hay?

The good news for Durango High School students: The building's closed today and tomorrow, and maybe longer, because of what administrators think was a senior prank involving hay. Yes, hay. The bad news: the time off could be made up by adding days at the end of the year -- a joke students won't see as funny.

The hay, sprinkled in the main hallways and common areas of the building, greeted staff and students on Monday. Problem is, hay contains mold spores that present health risks -- large enough ones that the school was evacuated. Officials called off classes today and tomorrow, and they may have to do so again on Thursday if air quality is deemed unacceptable.

No word about whether the comedians in question have been caught. But there's really no need to punish them. If the school year is extended because of them, their fellow students will undoubtedly mete out their own brand of rough justice. Talk about a learning experience.

Look below to read the latest about the situation from the school's website.

DHS Remains Closed Tuesday 5/17 & Wednesday 5/18

Durango High School will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, May 17 and 18. These days may need to be made up at the end of the school year.

An updated Alert Now message will be sent to families on Wednesday with information on whether students can report to school on Thursday or if further clean-up is necessary.

Some DHS activities have been rescheduled or postponed due to the school closure. The Girls Lacrosse Banquet will be at 6:30 PM at the Doubletree Hotel. Choir, Band, and Orchestra concerts have been postponed. Special Olympics has also been postponed until further notice.

Monday morning, the school was found with hay spread throughout the main hallways of the building and the commons area. The source of the hay may be associated with a senior prank. The hay caused the air quality of the building to be of concern, resulting in the school being evacuated. Hay contains mold spores that can present a serious health threat to humans. An Air Quality Environmental professional is investigating the building to determine when it can be reoccupied safely. The earliest day for school to reopen would be Thursday, May 19th, pending the results of testing. DHS staff should not report to work on Tuesday or Wednesday, nor may they enter the building.

We regret this inconvenience, but the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.

Please visit the district's website at if you have missed any part of this message.

Thank you.

More from our News archive: "Stony Creek Elementary evacuation: Man's backpack, off-center ceiling tile lead to 911 call."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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