At least three schools along Colorado’s northern Front Range closed Friday amid fears of rumored violence potentially tied to LGBTQ groups demonstrating on International Transgender Day of Visibility around the country.
The Longmont Christian School, the Loveland Resurrection Christian School and Loveland Classical Schools canceled classes with administrators citing possible threats of violence.
Police, however, have said there is no evidence of credible threats in Colorado.
Transgender remembrance, visibility and other demonstrations planned around the nation were in flux this week following the school shooting in Nashville, which police have said was done by a transgender person. It was unclear what protests if any were planned in Colorado.
But in the Longmont Christian School, administrators and board members late Thursday sent out a notice to parents saying Longmont police had warned school officials of possible threats and that, “out of an abundance of caution,” school officials decided to close on Friday and resume classes Monday.
The decision was made out of concern for the safety of students and staff, the administrators and board members said in the notice they sent. “If they do not feel safe, they cannot focus, teach or learn. We pray that these concerns do not pan out to destruction or harm in our community,” the notice said.
Longmont police had contacted the school and told officials that protests taking place across the country by LGBTQ groups “may be potentially violent” and that “ there are plans for groups to travel north along the I-25 corridor to Fort Collins” for a demonstration, the notice said. “We have been informed by law enforcement that some of these groups may choose to target Christian organizations and schools.”
On Friday afternoon, Longmont police released a statement saying the threats were received by the schools themselves.
“Several local Christian-based entities received information naming today, Friday, March 31, 2023, as the ‘Day of Rage’ or ‘Trans Day of Vengeance,’ in which an unnamed group or groups of individuals would target and vandalize Christian locations adjacent to the I-25 corridor in Colorado. The information does not provide any specific details. At this time, nothing has been found to associate with a credible threat in Colorado.”
North of Longmont in Fort Collins, police announced early Friday that they’d been receiving calls warning of possible threats which were not credible.
A team of detectives investigated the calls, which were “all across the board related to national issues,” Fort Collins Police Department spokesman Brandon Barnes said.
“We have absolutely no credible information regarding any threats to our community,” Barnes said. “We have been hearing numerous concerns from different community members. We have had detectives investigating these various rumors, all of which have been unfounded.”
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation “doesn’t have any information” regarding threats to schools in the state, CBI spokeswoman Lisa Kohlbrenner said.
Longmont Christian parent Nathan Pinder said canceling classes “doesn’t sit well with me,” and he questioned why police couldn’t provide protection at schools.
“I fully support everybody’s right to protest,” Pinder said. “But as soon as there are threats to others, to me, the appropriate response would be to park a police cruiser outside and let kids learn.”
“You don’t Kow-tow to possible threats. This doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t care if it is LQBTQ groups protesting or if it is a pro-life protest. It is wrong if we allow a potential threat from people to affect us doing the right thing.”
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