Fairview’s Social Media Threat Poses More Questions Than Answers


Sophii Sherman

This incident came in the first year that gun violence was the number one cause of death of children in the United States.

On Wednesday, October 19th, a past student of Fairview High School posted a harrowing image of him inciting violence against several current Fairview students on Instagram. Many parents subsequently raised questions about the response of Boulder Valley School District and the administration at Fairview. The response to this event paves the way to a larger issue of not only telltale signs of student violence, but also when administration actions are considered too late. 

Esteban Yegian, a former student of Fairview, threatened the school via social media. The post, now taken down from Instagram, depicted students in a Hell-like atmosphere with him, Yegien, at the center. The troubling manner of this post is that social media is inexplicably linked to school violence, specifically shootings. Before the Uvalde shooting, Salvador Ramos made concerning social media posts on Yubo, and the grocery store shooting in Buffalo, NY was associated with social media posts. Social media posts can demonstrate a legitimate motive for a shooter, which raises the question of why BVSD waited for confirmation of the threat instead of acting immediately after Yegian posted. 

Fairview’s principal, Dr. Chopin, in an email correspondence on October 19, 2022, said “…social media moves very quickly – it would be irresponsible for BVSD to send information that hasn’t been vetted.” This email was in response to many parents’ concerns over the alleged lack of communication between administrators and parents. The social media post was posted Tuesday night and the school did not take action until Wednesday morning after school began. 

Fairview wanted to verify the threat before taking any necessary action, like a lockdown, within the school. They were in contact with Boulder Police, however, the increasing amount of school shootings poses a question of whether it is okay to prioritize the number of days that students should be attending school, especially after the incredible loss of education during the pandemic lockdown, over their safety. When is a threat legitimate, and when is it too late to act?

Lockdown policies dictate that if an individual can get out of the building they should. If a student can avoid a potentially deadly conflict, they should. Many students left their classrooms or simply avoided school altogether that Wednesday, accruing absences when the school continued operating.

Fairview, meanwhile, decided to keep the school day business as usual. Aside from the late notification to parents, they took no action that day. The days following this incident were filled with district administrators at Fairview—according to an email correspondence on October 23, 2022 —to allegedly uplift safety. While the school seemed to take a rather neutral stance on the event, police arrested Yegian on that Wednesday. He has a bond that is set at $100,000 and is being convicted for suspicion of inciting the destruction of life or property and interference with an educational institution. A close friend of Yegian describes in an affidavit that Yegian had attempted to buy a gun that Tuesday from the friend’s dad, and Yegien posted a Snapchat of him trying to buy shotgun shells.

Some people are concerned that pulling students from attending schools can have a negative effect on learning and students’ well-being. Some students rely on schools, which serve two meals a day, to provide meals for them. Others may make the point that administration cannot suspend school every time there is remotely a threat. 

Last year, Boulder—specifically South Boulder—witnessed the King Sooper’s shooting. It was an event that shook this town and traumatized Fairview’s community. Boulder, like the rest of this country, is no stranger to gun violence. How BVSD plans on addressing it is a pressing question for the future.