Wooden color guard rifle causes scare, lockdown at Boulder high school

Posted at 12:52 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 14:52:36-04

BOULDER, Colo. – A wooden color guard rifle caused a scare and briefly locked down Fairview High School Friday morning.

Police were told around 7:30 a.m. that a 15-year-old had been spotted carrying what appeared to be a rifle case into the school. The Boulder Valley School District put the school on lockout, then lockdown, while police investigated.

They found the student in question in a classroom and discovered they weren’t carrying a rifle case, but rather a wooden color guard rifle covered in white tape. Color guard rifles are simply props and do not function as working weapons.

The student told police that they normally carry the rifle in a case, but that it was filled with color guard flags and couldn’t fit Friday.

The school district sent the following note home to families:

Dear BVSD Families and Staff,

As you know, this morning several schools in the vicinity of Fairview High School were placed in Lockout and Fairview itself was briefly placed in Lockdown, after Boulder Police Department received a report that a suspicious person was spotted with a case in the area of Darly Avenue and Hartford Drive.

During a Lockout students and staff are brought indoors, perimeter doors are locked.

During a Lockdown, learning communities and individual classroom doors are secured, lights are turned off and students are kept quiet and in place indoors.

Thankfully, the individual in question was located and officers were able to quickly determine that there was no threat to our schools.

I want to commend the staff and students at Fairview High School, Southern Hills Middle School, Bear Creek Elementary, Mesa Elementary and Community Montessori for their quick action. Everyone moved swiftly to ensure the safety of our students.

As we have communicated previously, safety is a top priority in the Boulder Valley School District. As always, if we learn of a possible credible or imminent threat to our schools and our children, we will send alerts -- informing our students, staff and parents so that they can take action. We are providing as much information as we can, as soon as possible. Learn more at

See the district website to learn more about BVSD’s messaging system and how to opt in to receive text messages.


Brendan Sullivan
Director of Safety, Security and Emergency Services
Boulder Valley School District