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04633A6AED279D9B8725845C0054C8A9 Hearing Summary


Date Aug 20, 2019      
Location Old State Library

Creating Consistency in School Safety Across State Departments - Committee Discussion Only

09:26:05 AM  
Representative Michaelson Jenet spoke about the questions the panelists for this agenda item would be addressing. Essi Ellis, representing Safe2Tell, discussed collaboration between Safe2Tell and various state departments.
09:33:20 AM  

Julie Tolleson, representing the Attorney General's Office, provided a formal opinion about what information can and cannot be shared under the federal Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) (Attachment D). She explained what is contained in the opinion, including various exceptions to the prohibition on sharing personally identifiable information about students. She pointed out that FERPA is a federal funding mechanism, rather than a law with legal penalties for improper sharing of information. Her message was that there is far more concern about sharing education information than is warranted by the law. Ms. Tolleson responded to questions from the committee about what information is considered part of an education record.

09:40:09 AM  

Chris Harms, representing the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC), discussed the work of the CSSRC and talked about the broadness of the idea of school safety. She broke the issue down into two parts: physical safety and psychological safety. She talked about building and grounds physical safety and the importance of funding for door locks and other security measures. She also spoke about the importance of funding for mental health professionals in schools. She referenced a study conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) regarding recommended ratios for mental health professionals in schools. She talked about a list of state agencies involved in the broad umbrella of school safety and provided context about why so many partners are needed for effective collaboration (Attachment E). She addressed a question from the last meeting about resources for post-incident response. The committee asked questions about what entity is providing information about school safety to all schools in Colorado. Committee discussion ensued about metrics for outcomes in the CSSRC. They talked about the various types of threat assessments that are done annually.

09:57:01 AM  
Dana Smith, representing the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), spoke about gaps that exist for rural school districts with regard to conducting threat assessments.
09:59:06 AM  

Cristen Bates, representing the Office of Behavioral Health in the Department of Human Services, provided a hard copy of her presentation (Attachment F). She addressed mobile response and a crisis hotline used for threat and suicide assessments for youth. She talked about a program called Sources of Strength, which is an intervention-based program that is widely used in Colorado. She indicated that the focus of her office is evidence-based practices to prevent suicide, bullying, violence, and substance abuse. She talked about a coordinated video campaign for crisis prevention and stressed the importance of cross-department communications. She responded to questions about the video campaign.

10:14:50 AM  
Representative Michaelson Jenet went over the list of questions in Attachment C and invited the panelists to answer them. Discussion ensued. Threat assessments were the major focus of the conversation.
10:33:03 AM  
The discussion continued on the topic of the potential for trauma in the aftermath of lockdown drills. The chair asked for more information on drills.

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