Camerson Rust, a school security guard at Arapahoe High School, is making some stunning claims that suggest that the school administration ignored multiple warnings from the school security team regarding the erratic, sometimes violent behavior of the shooter well in advance of his attack on the school, including a death threat made against a teacher the day before the attack.
If these claims are corroborated by other members of the security team, faculty, staff, and/or students, then Principal Natalie Pramenko is going to find herself under a microscope:
“Claire Davis should not have died on December 13, 2013. Karl Pierson should not have died on December 13, 2013. Claire did not have a choice, Karl did,” Rust wrote on Facebook group page entitled “Bring Back Cameron Rust AHS” which appears to have been started by a student at Arapahoe High and has garnered over 1,000 members.
“Is Arapahoe High School Administration responsible for Karl’s choices? No! Are they responsible for their lack of action? Yes!”
Rust claims he and other security guards at the school expressed concern to school administrators prior to the Dec. 13 shooting in regards to a death threat allegedly made by Pierson directly to speech coach Tracy Murphy, as well as “symbols” the teen drew on his math tests and his recurring use of the word “comrade.”
Rust also says the security team reported to school officials that Pierson was looking up guns on his computer in the school cafeteria and that the “administration came back and told the security team it was Karl’s personal computer and he can do what he wants.”
He said many of the complaints regarding Pierson were not recorded in the teen’s school file, and lists multiple incidents he says proves his point that school officials ignored warnings and acted inappropriately.
“’We will read about that kid [Karl] in the news someday, it just won’t be at Arapahoe,’” Rust quotes school officials as saying in one of his points.
Rust also says Pierson was sent home due to an “anger outburst to another teacher” on the day before the shooting.
Pierson further claims that he was suspended by Pramenko because he held her culpable for the shooting.
Following the shooting, Rust says he was placed on paid leave and was banned from the Arapahoe High School campus.
“I was told the reason I was being treated differently [than other security guards and staff] was because I would not hug and walked away from Principal Pramenko during the Monday, December 16th staff meeting, and at Claire Davis’s Memorial Service,” Rust wrote.
He says he refused to hug the school’s principal Natalie Pramenko because of the prior knowledge he claims she had that could have prevented the shooting.
Jeremy Meyer of the Denver Post suggests that the school district is acting like they have something to hide:
For more than a month, district and school officials have refused to talk to reporters about the events, referring all open records requests for even basic information to their lawyers.
On Thursday and Friday, the district maintained its silence even after school security guard Cameron Rust posted a lengthy diatribe against Arapahoe High officials, alleging they ignored warning signs before the attack and that Pierson was “a known threat for a long time.”
Rust’s statements are incendiary and cannot be verified without the district’s input. He claims Pierson had made a death threat directly to his speech and debate coach; that he was caught looking at guns on the Internet while at school; and had repeated outbursts.
If any of Rust’s allegations are proven and the school didn’t take action, the district is in trouble.
If I were a parent in that district I’d be demanding an independent state investigation of Rust’s allegations, as it seems obvious that the district itself faces a clear conflict of interest.