LOVELAND, Colo. — Loveland parents are furious after they say they weren't told about a possible school safety threat until after police investigated and the district canceled classes.
"When you drop your kid off, like we do every day, we trust that they're okay, and it turns out like this. How safe are our kids?" said Steven Johnson, a parent of two sophomores at Loveland High School.
He and his wife, Amber, were heading to work after drop-off Wednesday morning, until they got a set of troubling text messages from their son. He had gotten to his classroom door, and it was locked with no one inside.
"A message came in at 9:46 a.m. from my son, and it says, 'There was no teacher in my first class. So they told us to sit in the lunchroom,'" Amber read from her phone, "Then [her son] says, 'There is a threat to the school about a school shooting.' That was at 9:57 a.m."
That was the first time the parents heard of a potential threat.
"We had no idea what was happening. Nobody knew it. No idea. It was just total total disarray," said Steven.
The Loveland Police Department said officers responded to the school shortly after 8 a.m. after being alerted of a Safe2Tell tip of a possible threat to the school.
The Thompson School District confirms 14 staff members left the campus that morning.
"It's cowardly, and I mean that wholeheartedly," said Steven.
The parents turned their car around and had to find their kids when they got back to the area of the high school.
"Off campus, much further away, because they were terrified to death like everybody else," said Steven.
In a statement, the school district told Denver7 law enforcement investigated and determined there was no credible threat before the school day started. On Wednesdays, the school has a late start at 9:30 a.m.
"They need to get that information out just a little earlier. That can save a lot of trouble for a lot of people," said Steven.
According to the parents, the first communication they got from the school district was a text received at 10:06 a.m. that said,"From TSD: LHS is closing due to schedule disruption from a safety tip. All students and staff are safe."
"The district will always communicate with families when there is a credible threat that impacts the school community," a district spokesperson told Denver7. "In this instance, law enforcement officials at the Loveland Police Department fully investigated the Safe2Tell tip and determined before the beginning of the school day that there was no credible threat to students, staff or visitors at the school."
The parents say they are livid with the school's response and communication but are thankful the threat wasn't real.
"I thank the good Lord that it didn't turn out to be a real active shooter. It would have been horrific," said Steven.