Bairoil School Closure Continues

by Xavier Walton, xwalton@k2tv.com

It was an alleged gun-related threat of violence and bullying that prompted one small town Wyoming school to be closed down.  The mayor says parents are up in arms over the decision.  The school has been servicing the community since 1936. 

K2's Xavier Walton has the story from Bairoil, WY.



Bairoil - Wyoming - very much so a small town, but with a very big problems on their plate.

"What the heck do they expect you to do," shouted a Bairoil resident.

"We hear about guns [NAT POP] inuendo's and non-verbal cues that make somebody feel uncomfortable after they've already been threatened," said Fletcher Turcato, Superintendent of Carbon County School District #1.

"There's a lot of he said she said," said Kristi Johnson, Bairoil resident.

"There were some statements made at the beginning of this meeting that were some bold face lies," said the Bairoil resident.

Bold face lies packing enough punch to have a teacher fear for her life.

"Shawna Heuermann has not felt safe out there," said Turcato. "She was visibly shaken and basically incapable of doing a proficient job after these threats.

Shawna Heuermann, the teacher the superintendent just spoke of, declined to go on camera, but not to comment.

She said, "It took a restraining order to get anyone's attention.  By that point I had panic attacks while driving out to work, and panic attacks when."

In response the district not only took computer from desktops, stripped books from their shelves, but also chained the doors shut.

"None of us knew what was going on," said Sue Rigano, Mayor of Bairoil.

"They called me Friday November 15 and told me the school was closed," said Johnson.

in a matter of 72 hours, Bairoil's education system was turned upside down.  That next Monday, students were forced to bus more than 40 minutes each way- leaving parents irate.

"You saw the mother leave? Yeah. You saw the mother leave?" questioned the Bairoil resident.

"To me busing these kids on these highways is a bigger safety issue than what was going on here," said Rigano.

"I promise you on my life my son or my daughter will not be on a bus forty miles into Rawlins," said Chris Fritz, Bairoil Resident.

So while promises were made.

"I can get my back up and I can get ugly," said the Bairoil resident.

And some more voices were heard, nonetheless, the school remains closed.

"When you have serious safety concerns then we're going to go through our evaluation process to allow me and the board the evaluate the whole quality of education at Bairoil and safety," said Turcato.

"Somebody needs to stand up and be the bigger person, the kids are the ones suffering," said Fritz.

Reporting out of Bairoil, I'm Xavier Walton K2 News.