Sheriff Investigating Deputy’s Visit to Dolores School District

Aug 22, 2018

A Montezuma County deputy allegedly made inappropriate remarks about school safety during a visit assessing security measures at Dolores Elementary School and High School. 

Update (August 24)Interim Superintendent Phil Kasper sent a letter addressed to "Concerned Parents and Guardians" after KSJD published an article on the investigation of a deputy's visit to the district.

 

Dated August 23 and emailed Friday, the letter included additional details about the incident that were not shared with KSJD by Kasper or Sheriff Steve Nowlin. Describing the deputy's actions as "egregious," Kasper detailed the following:

  • Deputy Donnie Brown told students, "We need to shoot your teacher." The letter also mentioned that the deputy "used his finger to simulate the firing of a gun and said 'Your Dead [sic],'" as KSJD reported.
  • The deputy interrupted class to "lecture" about locking doors.
  • The deputy used chewing tobacco while at the school.

Kasper's letter also expanded on the sheriff's involvement in the case, adding that Nowlin met with administrators and staff and visited "several classrooms of students." The sheriff apologized to Kasper and said to expect administrative action by the sheriff's office.

 

Original article continues below.

 

Deputy Donnie Brown is under investigation after allegedly stepping into classrooms and making gun gestures with his fingers and announcing, “Bang, you’re dead.” Deputy Kaylee Green, the Dolores school resource officer, was with Brown but her involvement was not made clear by Sheriff Steve Nowlin, who is investigating the incident.

 

The actions, believed to have been jokes about safety during a possible school shooting, were not authorized by Nowlin.

 

“The message was not delivered properly,” Nowlin said. “At all.”

 

After the incident took place Friday, teachers and students shared concerns with each school’s principal. The report was passed to the sheriff and to Interim Superintendent Phil Kasper, who praised Nowlin’s quick response and assistance in the matter.

 

“We’re in the business of protecting boys and girls,” Kasper said. “And law enforcement is as well.”

 

Both Kasper and Nowlin are expecting some form of administrative consequences from the police department — the sheriff would not comment on what consequences could look like due to the ongoing investigation.

 

“It definitely caused some alarm to a teacher and some students,” Nowlin said. “And that’s not tolerable. Period.”