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‘Credible Threat’ Leads To Closing of Denver-Area Schools

Columbine students continued attending classes in the afternoon and left school on time, but after-school activities were canceled on the campus in Littleton, Colorado.

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Columbine High School
School police officers look on as students leave Columbine High School, April 16, 2019, in Littleton, Colo. Following a lockdown at Columbine and other Denver area schools, authorities say they are looking for a woman suspected of making threats. VOA
Public schools in the Denver area will be closed Wednesday after authorities said a young woman who is “infatuated” with the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School made threats just days before the 20th anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people.

Authorities are looking for Sol Pais, 18, who is thought to have made undisclosed threats that prompted Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver to lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon.

All schools in the Denver area were urged to tighten security because the threat was deemed “credible and general,” said Patricia Billinger, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI say Pais traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition.

FILE - Unidentified young women head to a library near Columbine High School where students and faculty members were evacuated after two gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the school in the southwest Denver suburb of Littleton, April 20, 1999.
Unidentified young women head to a library near Columbine High School where students and faculty members were evacuated after two gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the school in the southwest Denver suburb of Littleton, April 20, 1999. VOA

All facilities, programs closed

Denver Public Schools said that all facilities and programs will be closed Wednesday, and there will be no afternoon activities or athletic competitions. The district said the decision to close campuses was in collaboration with other Denver metro-area school districts because of the ongoing safety concern.

On Tuesday, some schools released their students after additional security was called in and canceled evening activities or moved them inside.

“We always have heightened awareness close to high-profile anniversaries like this,” Billinger said.

Massive manhunt

Pais was last seen in the foothills west of Denver, was considered armed and extremely dangerous and should not be approached, authorities said.

“This has become a massive manhunt … and every law enforcement agency is participating and helping in this effort,” Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of the FBI in Denver, said late Tuesday night.

The FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force issued a notice Tuesday describing Pais as “infatuated with (the) Columbine school shooting.” The alert also said police who come into contact with her should detain her and evaluate her mental health.

Sheriff’s spokesman Mike Taplin said the threats she made were general and not specific to any school.

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On Tuesday, some schools released their students after additional security was called in and canceled evening activities or moved them inside. Pixabay

The Denver Post reported that a call to a phone number listed for Pais’ parents in Surfside, Florida, was interrupted by a man who identified himself as an FBI agent and said he was interviewing them.

The Associated Press left messages at two numbers listed for Pais’ relatives in Florida, while another number was disconnected.

The doors were locked at Columbine and more than 20 other schools in the Denver area as the sheriff’s office said it was investigating threats against schools related to an FBI investigation.

Also Read: Microsoft Rejects California Law Enforcement Agency’s Request To Install Facial Recognition in Officers’ Cars

Columbine students continued attending classes in the afternoon and left school on time, but after-school activities were canceled on the campus in Littleton, Colorado.

Two teenage gunmen attacked Columbine on April 20, 1999, killing 12 classmates and a teacher. (VOA)

 

Next Story

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater

Cheater at school means cheater at workplace

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Cheater
If you were a cheater at school then you are likely to be on at your workplace. Wikimedia Commons

Once a cheater, always a cheater may be a true saying as researchers now discover that students’ tolerance for cheating may spill over into their careers.

The study by professors at two California State University campuses, including San Francisco State University, tackled two questions: If students tolerate cheating in the classroom, will they also tolerate unethical behavior in their careers? And what’s shaping these attitudes?

“If [students] have this attitude while they’re in school — that it’s OK to cheat in school — that attitude unfortunately will carry over to the corporate boardroom,” said San Francisco State Professor and Chair of Marketing Foo Nin Ho.

The fear is that these lax attitudes, if left unchecked, could manifest later as turning a blind eye to unethical business behaviour or participating in a cover-up, added the study’s lead author Glen Brodowsky from California State University San Marcos.

To conduct the study, the authors surveyed nearly 250 undergraduate marketing students.

cheater at school
If a student can tolerate cheating in school then he/she is most likely to be a cheater at workplace. Wikimedia Commons

They were asked to respond to statements about cheating and ethics such as “It’s cheating to ask another student what was on the test” and “Within a business firm, the ends justify the means.”

The survey found that students who were more tolerant of cheating in a classroom also demonstrated an openness to unethical behaviour on the job.

Some students face enormous pressure from their families to succeed in college, so those students may engage in cheating to avoid the shame of flunking out, the findings showed.

Also Read- Seattle Airport To Introduce Facial-Recognition Technology For Travellers

Understanding the cultural forces at work could help professors develop culturally sensitive ways to minimize these unethical behaviours in their classrooms.

“As professors, we need to set the tone and say, ‘This is what’s not rewarded in the classroom’ and train students that following ethical behaviour leads to better outcomes,” Brodowsky said. “So when they graduate and work for companies they will better equipped to evaluate that situation.” (IANS)