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STEM School Parent Warned That a Student Might Snap

Officials investigated, later sued the woman for defamation over 'defamatory' statements
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2019 3:50 PM CDT
Young women console each other during a community vigil to honor the victims and survivors of the STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – The mother of a student at the Colorado school where one student was shot to death this week and eight were wounded warned school officials that stress was building there, to the point where she feared "something like a Columbine" could happen, CNN reports. After the woman told a school board member of her concerns in a December phone call, a district official wrote a letter to the school's executive director, Penelope Eucker, asking for an investigation. In a statement, Eucker says the resulting investigation did not support the allegations. In fact, STEM School Highlands Ranch filed a civil lawsuit against the woman, alleging "outrageously defamatory statements" against the school and its educators. The woman had made other claims, including that teachers were embezzling money and laundering it in China, reports 9News.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, had said she'd seen students lash out and heard reports of violence and bullying. She also said the academic workload seemed too heavy, and students weren't getting enough sleep. It appeared that school officials were ignoring the concerns of parents and teachers, and she tells CNN she was worried it would lead to "something like a Columbine, or some kind of imminent threat to our children's safety in the school, whether it be a bomb or an active shooter, or a suicide." Other parents posted concerns in an online petition and on Facebook. Warnings were ignored before the shootings at Columbine High School, also is in suburban Denver, the Washington Post reported at the time. Thirteen people were killed in that school 20 years ago last month. (A guard at the STEM School might have accidentally shot at a deputy.)

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