Yesterday (October 18, 2012), we received a phone call from the Thornton Police
Department dispatch that a backpack belonging to one of our students was found at
136th and Monaco. Immediately Horizon staff responded by trying to locate the student.
Within just a few minutes we determined that the student was not in class and, in fact,
willingly left campus at approximately 10:45 am. The student then walked around
the Horizon community and eventually stayed alone for 4-5 hours in an area near the
Walmart at 128th and Quebec. During this time Horizon staff worked collaboratively
with her parents and the Thornton Police Department to interview students and search
the surrounding area. At approximately 5:30 pm the student contacted her parents to tell
them her location. Thornton Police responded to the area around 128th and Quebec and
the student was found safe and unharmed. In conversations with the family this morning
they want to thank everyone for their support and response to this situation. The student
recognizes that her actions caused a great deal of concern for her safety and she regrets
her choice to leave campus.
Finally, I want to thank the Thornton Police Department, the Adams 12 School District,
and the Horizon staff for their quick and thorough response to the situation yesterday. I
can assure you that the student's safety and whereabouts were our number one concern
and I am proud of the manner in which we came together to find our student. Please keep
in mind that when these types of things happen it is imperative that we do not get caught
up in communicating information which is based only in rumor. School and district
personnel will work with families and local law enforcement to get accurate information
out to the community as soon as it is available. In light of the recent tragic event I fully
understand parent and community concerns for the safety of our children. Thus, we all
need to proceed systematically and thoughtfully when situations arise to make certain we
are forwarding information via social media or even to the media, which is accurate and
does not impede on the privacy of others. This situation is also an opportunity for you to
speak with your children about being in class, staying on school grounds and most of all,
communicating with you as to their whereabouts at all times.
Thank you for your concern and caring for the safety and welfare of all of our students.
Have a great weekend-
Horizon High School