NORWOOD, Colo. —
"It seemed the whole town was against the victim and his father," Fouche said. "It was all about punishment and not helping."
After the arrests, Jessica Bicknase, identified in a police report as the mother of one of the accused, paid to print T-shirts that bore a slogan using the initials of the suspects. Bicknase declined to comment.
A dozen students wore the T-shirts to school one Friday, and someone posted a sign with the same wording on the locker of the victim's brother, according to the police report, which was reviewed by Bloomberg. Students who wore the t-shirts told police they wanted to support their friends. The victim told investigators he didn't understand why his friends would support people who attacked him.
When police visited parents of students involved in the T-shirt incident to warn them against intimidating the 13-year- old, who would be testifying against his schoolmates in a criminal case, they found the parents instead focused on attacking the principal.
"The majority of the time was spent with the parents expressing anger at [the principal] for reporting the incident, and for not resigning his position," according to a police report. "We repeatedly steered the conversation back to the t- shirt incident, but the parents did not want to stop talking about [the principal] and his resignation."
Denver investigators said they were surprised by the response in the town.
"They blamed our victim," said Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver district attorney's office, which brought the charges against the three students. "There was a huge backlash, and everybody turned against this boy and his family for bringing trouble to their town."
After the T-shirt incident, the principal decided to stop sending his son to school, and instead brought his assignments home.