Student’s project locks down high school


The last day of school for Thornton High School students was an interesting one.

The school was put on lockdown, and students were evacuated after what turned out to be a misunderstanding.

According to Thornton Police, on May 24, around 11:30 a.m. a student notified a teacher that he saw a person carrying what looked like an assault rifle outside of the school.

The teacher looked outside and saw the person with the object that resembled a rifle.

The school resource officer was notified and the school and surrounding schools went into complete


High school students were also evacuated to the RTD Park and Ride location at 88th Avenue and Grant Street.

Just over an hour later, a parent called the police department and told police she had picked up a school project from her son at THS earlier that day, which was a replica of

a rifle.

Police said the student was interviewed and stated that the replica was part of a Memorial Day project that displayed a rifle, helmet and boots. The rifle was made out of wood.

According to a letter sent out by the Adams 12 superintendent Chris Gdowski, the district has a policy concerning the use of firearm facsimiles for school projects which includes an approval process.

The district policy requires students to have authorization from the principal to use or possess a firearm facsimile that could be mistaken for an actual fireman on school property for the purposes of a school-related or non-school related activity.

If a student fails to obtain authorization, the policy states that the student may receive disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension and/or expulsion.

Gdowksi said the situation is currently being investigated to determine whether or not the approval process was followed.

“With a situation like this, we have to take all of those safety precautions to keep the students safe,” said Joe Ferdani, director of communications for the district. “We’re just pleased that it ended up being nothing of a serious nature.”


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