Colorado faculty the place man lunged at little one in tried kidnapping​ to get new principal

The varsity in Colorado the place a suspect lunged at a baby on the schoolyard in what police imagine is an tried kidnapping has named an interim principal till a brand new principal may be named for the 2024-2025 faculty 12 months. Solomon Galligan, 33, has been charged with one rely of tried kidnapping and stays in custody on the Arapahoe County Jail on $25,000.

Solomon Galligan was arrested and charged with tried kidnapping after allegedly grabbing a boy at Black Forest Hills Elementary College in Aurora on Friday, April 19, 2024.

Courtesy / Aurora Police Division

Black Forest Hills Elementary has named Chuck Puga, the previous principal of Smoky Hill Excessive College, as appearing principal on the elementary faculty via the top of the varsity 12 months. The district will identify a brand new principal for Black Forest Hills for the 2024-2025 faculty 12 months in “the approaching weeks.”

In line with a press release from Cherry Creek College District: “At this level in our investigation, now we have determined to make an administrative change at Black Forest Hills and have appointed an appearing principal to serve within the remaining month. We’re making this alteration as a part of our dedication to make sure a secure and optimistic finish of the varsity 12 months.”

Surveillance footage reveals an individual police say was Solomon Galligan strolling onto faculty property, approaching college students and lunging at a baby earlier than falling down. Kids are later seen working from the world towards academics’ assistants off-screen.  

Safety video reveals a person making an attempt to seize a baby at Black Forest Hills Elementary College. 


Within the assertion despatched to households on Friday, there was no point out of Amanda Replogle, who was the principal at Black Forest Hills Elementary when the incident occurred. 

Dad and mom of scholars on the elementary faculty have been outraged on the preliminary response from the varsity and after watching the safety video, have been upset on the period of time it took faculty employees to take motion. On the time, the Cherry Creek College District mentioned the principal in addition to district management had met with households on a number of events to reply their questions. The district mentioned they’re dedicated to preserving college students secure.  

Under is the letter that was despatched out to households:

Pricey Black Forest Hills Elementary Group,

I’m writing to tell you that Chuck Puga will function appearing principal at Black Forest Hills Elementary via the top of this faculty 12 months. Mr. Puga is the previous principal of Smoky Hill Excessive College and a well-respected, longtime administrator in Cherry Creek Colleges. He will probably be assisted by Midge Eidson, a former longtime elementary principal in CCSD, who will function assistant principal via the top of the 12 months. Cyndi Burdick, additionally a former principal in CCSD who has been supporting Black Forest Hills as assistant principal since January, can even be on the faculty via the top of the 12 months.

The district will identify a brand new principal for Black Forest Hills for the 2024-25 faculty 12 months. We’ll announce the brand new faculty chief within the coming weeks.

The Human Assets investigation into the April 19 incident is within the remaining phases. The knowledge obtained via this investigation has led us to resolve that we have to make an administrative change at Black Forest Hills. We’re making that change now in order that we are able to transfer ahead with the ultimate weeks of the varsity 12 months in a optimistic and productive way.

CCSD is dedicated to making sure that every one college students and employees at Black Forest Hills really feel secure and supported when in school. As at all times, the varsity’s psychological well being group is on the market to help college students who’re struggling. Please attain out to the varsity if you need to speak to a member of the psychological well being group about help to your little one.

I additionally need to emphasize actions now we have taken to bolster safety at Black Forest Hills Elementary:

      •    District safety has labored with Black Forest Hills employees to overview all safety protocols, together with the district’s Customary Response Protocol and standards for when to name a SECURE standing.

      •    District safety labored with paraprofessionals (TAs) to reconfigure supervision at recess to enhance line of sight. College students will probably be saved nearer to highschool and never allowed to be on the sphere close to the fence and public sidewalk. 

     •    There will probably be extra safety and police patrols within the space via the top of this faculty 12 months and elevated presence of district safety coordinators on the faculty.

     •    We’ve got added administrative help for the varsity and are working collaboratively to outline security wants of the group.

    •    We’ve got prioritized the wants of scholars via psychological well being assets and different choices for indoor recess.

    •    There will probably be extra safety in any respect outside end-of-year occasions on the faculty.

    •    The varsity has reinstated the Watchdog Dads/Mothers group to offer extra help to the varsity group. 

Security is a year-round precedence in CCSD and we conduct trainings and overview protocols all year long. The Superintendent has taken the extra step of assembly with all principals final week and reminding them to stay vigilant in security protocols via the top of the varsity 12 months. We’re additionally taking steps on the district degree to bolster present security protocols by reviewing:

    •    Incident command buildings 

    •    When to name SECURE or HOLD standing

    •    College Security Crew roles and duties

    •    Planning evidence-based coaching workout routines {and professional} improvement for all employees earlier than the beginning of subsequent faculty 12 months

We stay up for a secure and optimistic remaining month of college for our Black Forest Hills group, the place college students can give attention to their studying and have fun one another’s successes. Thanks to your partnership in preserving Black Forest Hills secure. 


Derek Mullner

Assistant Superintendent of Academic Operations

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