Colt Roundup

Is Cottonwood High School Safe?

How Cottonwood Administration dealt with the shooting threat written in a school restroom.

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Is Cottonwood High School Safe?

Mrs. Roylance walks the hallways to ensure the safety of Cottonwood's students.

Mrs. Roylance walks the hallways to ensure the safety of Cottonwood's students.

Mazana Boeroom

Mrs. Roylance walks the hallways to ensure the safety of Cottonwood's students.

Mazana Boeroom

Mazana Boeroom

Mrs. Roylance walks the hallways to ensure the safety of Cottonwood's students.

Mazana Boerboom, Section Editor

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Several weeks ago word got out that someone was going to shoot up Cottonwood High School. The threat came in the form of graffiti written in a stall in a girl’s restroom in the 600 hallway; it has been washed off. The threat left a date: March 21st, 2018. Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook were wrought with pictures, fears and rumors about the graffiti. As soon as word reached the administration, they had the police on top of the problem, and were trying to ease fears with reassurances that the threat was not credible. The Monday before March 21st, Terri Roylance, the principal, emailed the whole school saying, “A suspect has been identified and they are no longer a student enrolled at Cottonwood High School.We have taken every effort to address this incident and law enforcement continues to pursue this matter criminally.  This is a good reminder for everyone that posting such threats is not funny, but it is illegal and those who perpetrate such activities will be dealt with appropriately both administratively and legally. ”

The night the faculty learned of the threat, the police were called and the graffiti investigated. Roylance said she “stayed up [until 1 a.m.] and answered every email that night, every one.” From there the process that the faculty and police went through to find the perpetrator was long and thorough. Roylance said, “I’m not allowed to give out details, what I can say is that I feel very, very confident that we have nothing to worry about. The police at the time didn’t feel like it was a credible threat. It has been investigated thoroughly… We dealt with the situation and we are very confident that it was never a credible threat.” The investigation consisted mostly of using the cameras to find students who went into the restroom when the threat was written and interviewing each one of them.

Roylance was adamant that nobody should ever feel scared to come to school. She stated that, “[Students] should not be worried at all. I don’t think any place is ever 100%… but I feel like we have done everything we can to reassure people that we are keeping the place safe.” Roylance wants students to understand the threat was taken seriously.  She said, “Just know that I’ve followed up with everything and I’ve had support of the police, support of my boss, who is the high school director, support of the district assistant superintendent, support of the safe school director as well as the student service director.” She assured Colt Roundup that there have been 86 new cameras installed this year, everywhere but classrooms and restrooms, and that, “We’ve got a really good police officer here.” The school takes any and all threats of violence, drugs and anything else illegal seriously, even supposed jokes. Roylance adamantly stated, “I don’t care if you’re joking at all, you never never joke about school safety, any safety, mall safety, restroom safety, church safety, any kind of safety, it’s nothing to joke about at all.”

Since the Parkland shooting there have been many more threats and presumed jokes about shootings. In Granite School District, within a week and a half time period, there were 16 threats similar to the one at Cottonwood. Roylance made it clear that there are consequences for any such statements saying, “We have got 16 students who think they’re being funny or they think ‘I’m just joking, what’s the big deal?’ And it’s not a joke.” She urges students to take these problems seriously, reiterating that, “This is happening so inappropriately in so many places, and it just needs to stop, people need to say enough, enough, this isn’t funny. You will have consequences, and it just needs to stop, so you can come to school every day and worry about your English assignment… you shouldn’t have to worry about anything other than that.”

 

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Is Cottonwood High School Safe?