Guard: Safety Concerns Remain After Arapahoe High School Attack
DENVER (AP) – A security guard at a high school in Centennial said safety problems persist at the facility nearly a year after a student fatally shot a classmate before killing himself in the school’s library.
Arapahoe High School officials didn’t immediately comment on the claims by Christina Erbacher-Kolk, who has been placed on leave by the district and made her statements in a Facebook post Tuesday.
Erbacher-Kolk wrote that some school security cameras don’t work and some doors don’t latch properly months after student Karl Pierson, 18, entered the school Dec. 13 through a door that was propped open and should have been locked.
Authorities have said Pierson was targeting the school debate coach when he entered the school armed with a shotgun, machete and homemade bombs. They said Pierson killed 17-year-old Claire Davis before taking his own life as security officers closed in.
Erbacher-Kolk also wrote that officials took no action after she expressed concerns about Pierson looking up guns on his computer at school. The guard wrote that she has been placed on leave but said she has not been told why.
She confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that she wrote the Facebook entry but declined to comment further.
Littleton Public Schools Superintendent Scott Murphy and spokeswoman Diane Leiker did not immediately respond to requests for comment. School officials have cited an ongoing investigation in declining comment on the attack.
A seven-year district employee, Erbacher-Kolk claimed she was placed on leave in retaliation for bringing up security problems. Her claim could not be verified.
She posted her statement on a Facebook page devoted to supporting another former school security guard, Cameron Rust, who was suspended in January after expressing similar concerns.
Minutes from a school board meeting note that the school district and Rust reached a settlement agreement in May.
Disciplinary documents obtained by the AP last month showed school administrators deemed Pierson “not a high-level of threat” and allowed him to return to classes less than a week after he shouted a death threat against the debate coach last September. Pierson had recently been demoted as debate team captain.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Dave Walcher has said his investigation is ongoing. He did not immediately return calls Wednesday.
Parent Vicki Hoffmann, a member of a group that supports Rust, said some parents share the concerns of Erbacher-Kolk, and the lack of information from the school district has them worried that students might still be at risk.
“The hair on my arms just went up again,” she said about reading the Facebook post.