A security guard at a Colorado high school where a student killed a classmate during a shooting rampage delivered a scathing public critique of the school’s lack of safety measures, claiming it has never corrected glaring gaps in its security.
Christina Erbacher-Kolk said in a lengthy Facebook post that she alerted the school administrators to doors that didn’t latch and cameras that didn’t work in the days before student Karl Pierson snuck through an unlocked door last December, armed with a shotgun and Molotov cocktails, to kill a staff member.
Pierson shot a classmate, Claire Davis, before shooting himself as an armed school resource officer closed in on him. Davis died eight days later.
In the Facebook message, Erbacher-Kolk echoed many of the same criticisms of the school aired by another security guard, Cameron Rust. She claims that both she and Rust were put on leave following their complaints.
Erbacher-Kolk wrote that the same deficiencies in security present before the shooting exist today. Doors still don’t lock properly and cameras still don’t work, she wrote.
She also said that staff lacked training to deal with threatening students and that administrators were troublingly blasé about red flags.
“We told the administration that a student was looking up guns on the computer after he had been the subject of a threat assessment about threatening a staff member’s life,” Erbacher-Kolk wrote. “We were told that there was nothing they could do, but to watch this individual. Administration stated, ‘[W]e all know that this student will go off the deep end. It just will not happen at Arapahoe.’”
She wrote that not only were administrators not receptive to the complaints but that she and Rust had been singled out and subject to an “offensive, intimidating work environment.”
“The administration has restricted necessary documentation and training, and has retaliated against [me] and at least one other for bringing problems like these into view,” she wrote. “I hope this statement will serve to make schools safer. As of right now the school is operating short of campus supervisors because I am now forced to take leave. It doesn’t make sense.”
The Arapaho County Sheriff’s Office has been conducting an investigation into the shooting since January — “an incomprehensibly long time,” wrote the Denver Post in a recent editorial — and school district administrators have not responded to media requests for comments on Erbacher-Kolk’s statement.
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