Roadblocks trap students at school for hours before Trump’s rally

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COLORADO SPRINGS– The school day was unintentionally extended for several hours Thursday at Pinello Elementary School in southern Colorado Springs.

Roadblocks were put up for the motorcade transporting President Donald Trump to the Broadmoor World Arena Thursday cutting off the school from it’s most commonly used entrance from Bradley Road and South Academy.

“We had not been contacted by officials about road closures in our district boundaries,” said Samantha Briggs, the director of communications for Widefield School District 3.

The school is east of the Broadmoor World Arena, where the rally was held, and west of the Colorado Springs Airport. However, it is south of both locations.

School staff and parents spotted law enforcement and as soon as they confirmed the roadblock, a notice was sent to parents of students telling them traffic was going to be bad and busses likely to be late.

That message was sent at 3:33 p.m. when school is let out at 3:40 p.m.

“Between 5 and 7 p.m. we had a couple students still at the school,” Briggs said.

Harrison High School released students before noon, given it’s proximity to the World Arena.

School starts at 8:50 a.m., about 23 minutes after Colorado Springs Police posted to social media, specifically identifying heavy traffic around the stadium. Included in the subtext was a warning that drivers should expect unexpected road closures around the city.

“We knew the President was going to be visiting. We knew that there were going to be road closures. I think everyone in our community was anticipating that there was going to be traffic,” said Briggs. “So, I don’t think it was a huge shock, I just think it was so close to one of our elementary schools that we could have planned accordingly had we known in advance.”

Briggs said the district is going to reach out ahead of time to the necessary agencies for any future visit by a high-profile person.

Colorado Springs Police said they cannot speak about operation procedures when asked about this story.

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