PUEBLO, Colo. – A female high school student awaits a disciplinary hearing and could face expulsion for wearing a Halloween costume to school that prompted officials to lock down the building Wednesday.
An unnamed female student was spotted in the hallway at Pueblo County High School early yesterday morning wearing a gas mask and trench coat, and a classmate reported her to school officials, The Pueblo Chieftain reports.
The teen was hauled to the office where she was interrogated by the police, who also placed the school on lockdown for about an hour. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, which was training near the school, also responded in full camouflage gear and a large armored vehicle to sweep the building for anything dangerous or suspicious. They found nothing, according to the news site.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s office told KKTV the girl said the outfit was a Halloween costume. She wasn’t carrying any weapons.
“Incidents like this cannot be overlooked and must be taken serious,” Pueblo County superintendent Ed Smith told the Chieftain. “Our concern is always for the students.”
Smith said the student, who acted alone, was suspended and faces a disciplinary hearing in which she could be expelled, though the school board would have to approve that decision.
“In these times, these kinds of things just aren’t funny, but I would like to say that our students reacted very well to this because they are the ones that originally reported it,” he told KRDO.
The student was not charged with a crime, The Gazette reports.
The situation sparked mixed reactions online.
“Hey, here’s a good prank to pull on the student … you’re suspended for a week and we want to talk to your parents … Happy Halloween,” Watchingdognlamar posted to the Chieftain. “Not a little slap on the wrist.”
“It’s official: Common sense is dead – paranoia lives!” commenter btyniq wrote.
“I hope you are saying the student was lacking common sense when she chose to dress like this while attending school,” average_guy responded.
Some commenters think the young girl should pay for the police response.
“I believe anything that causes unnecessary money to be spent in situations like this falls into the vandalism category, and should be repaid,” artie2 posted. “How much did this event cost …, time spent on the problem …, wasted time spent in classrooms babysitting, since nothing else was happening?
“When the cost is figured, then a punishment can be levied.”
“Really, her parents let her go to school like this, she and her parents need their butts kicked,” DI Nada Ward posted to KOAA. “They just cost the taxpayers a lot of money by having the SO and swat to have to come to the school. Not to mention time wasted by teachers having to make sure all others were safe. She should not be allowed back in any school!”
Others chose to make light of the debacle.
“Maybe she was hoping for a White House invite?” quark1 wrote.
“Will she be getting a phone call and invite to the White House for her ‘imagination and personal creativity?’” Claudine Lamos questioned. “Or is that reserved for ‘clock makers?’”