Vista Ridge High School cancels Monday classes amid social media threats, physical fights, and joint investigation

Top Stories

File image

COLORADO SPRINGS — Vista Ridge High School (VRHS) school leaders have announced the campus will be closed amid an investigation into physical fights on-campus and social media threats.

In a letter sent to parents Sunday, VRHS Principal Dr. Jason DaLee acknowledged “concerns reported last week” and “escalating assaultive behavior on the VRHS campus.”

DaLee went on to announce that a joint investigation with VRHS and the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) is underway and will be prioritized in lieu of in-person classes and remote learning Monday.

“As administrators investigate and address this situation, we understand the discussion is continuing outside of school, creating a level of anxiety and enhanced alertness on the part of our students, staff, and community.”

vista ridge high school principal DR. JASON DALEE

According to DaLee, and as of this report, there is no verified threat to the campus.

The results of the joint investigation are expected to be released via email Monday. Students should plan to return on Tuesday.

“D49 thanks our law enforcement partners and encourages all of our students and families to stay alert and report any suspicious activity,” DaLee wrote. “We thank you for your trust, understanding and support in this matter. The safety of students, families and staff on our campuses is non-negotiable. We will remain proactive to ensure a safe learning environment awaits every District 49 learner.”

According to a VRHS parent, physical fights were reported at the school late last week as social media threats began popping up online.

In a letter sent to parents last week, DaLee described the social media threats as “a set of social media pages created by VRHS students. These pages create conditions for students to be singled out and subjected to targeted physical assaults and social media harassment.”

As part of the investigation, VRHS administrators are identifying students involved, contacting their parents, and determining the next steps, which could include school- and law enforcement-related consequences.

In addition, school leaders are temporarily restricting students’ access to mobile technology devices like cell phones while at school.

Cell phones may be kept in a pocket or in personal belongings, but must not be visible or in use during the school day, unless allowed by school leadership.

Read DaLee’s latest letter below:

Dear Parents and Students of Vista Ridge High School,

I want to once again thank all of you for your care and support as we address concerns reported last week. Even as we process a recent pattern of escalating assaultive behavior on the VRHS campus, we are monitoring additional reports which require appropriate follow up—confounded by a strain on staffing levels both at VRHS and our law enforcement partners at the Colorado Springs Police Department. Because aspects of our investigation and planning are still developing, VRHS will cancel classes and activities Monday, December 6,

As always, the safety of our campuses is non-negotiable. Although we do not believe there is a verified threat to our campus, we will use the time Monday to ensure we thoroughly investigate reports that present any potential danger to our students and staff. In collaboration with our safety and security team, along with CSPD, VRHS will address all serious reports, supporting all students involved. As we plan our return to normal activities, we will deploy additional resources to strengthen the safety and security of our campus.

As administrators investigate and address this situation, we understand the discussion is continuing outside of school, creating a level of anxiety and enhanced alertness on the part of our students, staff, and community. We commend those students and families who share information through Safe2Tel and other channels, demonstrating great pride in their school as partners to ensure the safety of our campus. This is why Vista Ridge is an amazing place to work, learn, and lead!

Tomorrow, we will share more about the progress of our investigation. As we shared previously, we are committed to investigating all misconduct until we reach appropriate, supported conclusions and assign proportionate consequences for all involved. Please look for that information in your email tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, Monday is considered a “no school” day. All classes and activities are cancelled, and there are no plans for remote learning. Students should plan to return on Tuesday and continue preparation for finals next week.

D49 thanks our law enforcement partners and encourages all of our students and families to stay alert and report any suspicious activity. We thank you for your trust, understanding and support in this matter. The safety of students, families and staff on our campuses is non-negotiable. We will remain proactive to ensure a safe learning environment awaits every District 49 learner.

Thank you for your trust and understanding as we work together to make Vista Ridge the very best place for learning.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jason DaLee, Principal
Vista Ridge High School

** En español **

Estimados padres y estudiantes de Vista Ridge High School,

Una vez más, quiero agradecerles a todos por su atención y apoyo mientras abordamos las inquietudes que se informaron la semana pasada. Incluso mientras procesamos un patrón reciente de comportamiento agresivo en aumento en el campus de VRHS, estamos monitoreando informes adicionales que requieren un seguimiento apropiado, confundidos por una tensión en los niveles de personal tanto en VRHS como en nuestros socios policiales en el Departamento de Policía de Colorado Springs. Debido a que los aspectos de nuestra investigación y planificación aún se están desarrollando, VRHS cancelará clases y actividades el lunes 6 de diciembre de

Como siempre, la seguridad de nuestros campus no es negociable. Aunque no creemos que haya una amenaza verificada para nuestro campus, usaremos el tiempo del lunes para asegurarnos de investigar a fondo los informes que presentan algún peligro potencial para nuestros estudiantes y personal. En colaboración con nuestro equipo de seguridad y protección, junto con CSPD, VRHS abordará todos los informes serios, apoyando a todos los estudiantes involucrados. Mientras planificamos nuestro regreso a las actividades normales, implementaremos recursos adicionales para fortalecer la seguridad de nuestro campus.

A medida que los administradores investigan y abordan esta situación, entendemos que la discusión continúa fuera de la escuela, lo que genera un nivel de ansiedad y un mayor estado de alerta por parte de nuestros estudiantes, personal y comunidad. Felicitamos a aquellos estudiantes y familias que comparten información a través de Safe2Tel y otros canales, demostrando un gran orgullo en su escuela como socios para garantizar la seguridad de nuestro campus. ¡Es por eso que Vista Ridge es un lugar increíble para trabajar, aprender y liderar!

Mañana compartiremos más sobre el progreso de nuestra investigación. Como compartimos anteriormente, estamos comprometidos a investigar toda mala conducta hasta que lleguemos a conclusiones apropiadas y fundamentadas y asignemos consecuencias proporcionales para todos los involucrados. Busque esa información en su correo electrónico mañana por la tarde. Mientras tanto, el lunes se considera un día sin clases. Todas las clases y actividades están canceladas y no hay planes de aprendizaje remoto. Los estudiantes deben planear regresar el martes y continuar preparándose para las finales de la próxima semana.

D49 agradece a nuestros socios encargados de hacer cumplir la ley y anima a todos nuestros estudiantes y familias a mantenerse alerta y reportar cualquier actividad sospechosa. Le agradecemos su confianza, comprensión y apoyo en este asunto. La seguridad de los estudiantes, las familias y el personal en nuestros campus no es negociable. Seguiremos siendo proactivos para garantizar un entorno de aprendizaje seguro que espera a cada alumno del Distrito 49.

Gracias por su confianza y comprensión mientras trabajamos juntos para hacer de Vista Ridge el mejor lugar para aprender.

Atentamente,
Dr. Jason DaLee, director
Escuela secundaria Vista Ridge

This is a developing story. FOX21 will update as more information is released.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local Stories

More Local