Sunday August 18, 2019
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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.

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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)

 

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Pre-Schoolers with Symptoms of ADHD Take More Time to Be School-Ready

We were pretty surprised at the proportion of kids within the ADHD group who were not school-ready

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It was found that 79 per cent of the children with ADHD had impaired school readiness compared with 13 per cent of children in the control group. Pixabay

Researchers have found that pre-schoolers with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are much less likely to be ready for school, compared to other children of the same age.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, included 93 children — 45 children with ADHD and 48 without the condition. Aged between 4-5 years, nearly all had attended or were currently enrolled in preschool and some were enrolled in kindergarten.

It was found that 79 per cent of the children with ADHD had impaired school readiness compared with 13 per cent of children in the control group.

“We were pretty surprised at the proportion of kids within the ADHD group who were not school-ready, it’s a really high number,” said Irene Loe, Assistant Professor at Stanford University in the US.

ADHD, Pre-Schoolers, School
Researchers have found that pre-schoolers with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are much less likely to be ready for school, compared to other children of the same age. Pixabay

“A lot of these kids are not identified until they’re really having a lot of trouble in the school setting,” Loe said.

For the study, researchers conducted tests and administered parent questionnaires to measure five areas of the children’s functioning: physical well-being and motor development; social and emotional development; approaches to learning; language development; and cognition and general knowledge.

According to the study, kids with ADHD were not more likely than their peers to show impairment in the area of cognition and general knowledge.

But children with ADHD were much more likely than their peers to struggle in all the four other areas measured.

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They were 73 times more likely than children without ADHD to be impaired in approaches to learning; more than seven times as likely to have impaired social and emotional development; six times as likely to have impaired language development; and three times as likely to have impaired physical well-being and motor development.

The findings suggest that identifying and helping kids with significant levels of ADHD symptoms could reduce their struggles in elementary school. (IANS)