LOVELAND, Colo. — Loveland High School parents had their first opportunity to talk to school officials and the Loveland Police Department face-to-face Thursday night following a non-credible threat that led to chaos at the school and more than a dozen teachers leaving campus.
"There's definitely a lot of frustration for sure. It was a scary thing that we went through," said Christine Busch, a LHS parent who attended the forum.
LHS Principal Michael James was placed on leave days after the incident but was recently reinstated. He sat on the listening forum's panel.
He said the confusion may have started right after that morning's staff meeting. He explained that he told his staff at the end of the meeting that police were investigating a possible threat, but it appeared to not be credible. He acknowledges some teachers were confused by what that meant.
"That is my number one mistake — not stopping right there, recognizing there was confusion. I didn't see it. Then, I left to go work with the people that were there [investigating,]" James said.
Parents at the meeting asked why some of those teachers left, speculating the teachers didn't trust the investigative process or were under the impression the threat was real.
Panel members said they met with those teachers. Some left because they did not feel safe, while others said they were concerned about bringing students into the school so they left to force the issue.
Classes for the rest of the day were canceled due to the confusion.
Loveland PD said the Safe2Tell tip that sparked the investigation was vague, disruptive and non-descriptive, all signs that typically point to a threat being fake. The department said regardless, any threat will be taken seriously and investigated.
"I think that we found some good ways forward. I was encouraged by what I heard from the principal and from the police. I think we learned from this situation that we can do better in the future," said Busch.
The district said this won't be the last time they meet with the Loveland community to get feedback on exactly how they can change protocols and expectations for staff moving forward.