Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

I_SchSafety_2019A 09/20/2019 09:03:33 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
INTERIM COMMITTEE  SCHOOL SAFETY COMMITTEE
Date 09/20/2019
Attendance
Beckman X
Gardner *
Gonzales X
Lundeen X
Sirota X
Van Winkle X
Fields *
Michaelson Jenet X
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Time 09:03:33 AM to 03:38:00 PM
Place Old State Library
This Meeting was called to order by Representative Michaelson Jenet
This Report was prepared by Jessika Shipley
Hearing Items Action Taken
Presentation of School Safety Audit Committee Discussion Only
Presentation by the CU Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence Committee Discussion Only
Presentation by the I Love U Guys Foundation Committee Discussion Only
Parent Students Teachers Panels Committee Discussion Only
Requests for Draft Legislation Committee Discussion Only

09:04:09 AM
Representative Michaelson Jenet explained the process for the meeting. A video about school safety was played.



Presentation of School Safety Audit - Committee Discussion Only


09:09:22 AM  

Nina Frant, representing the Office of the State Auditor, presented a recent school safety audit (Attachment A). She indicated that the overall finding of the audit is that the existing school safety framework creates a risk of uncoordinated efforts, gaps in service, and challenges in determining reach and impact. She discussed the contents of the audit document and pointed out various funding streams for school safety programs.

 

Attachment A

09:18:59 AM  
Ms. Frant continued discussing the methodology
for the audit and spoke in depth about various programs.
09:27:20 AM  
Ms. Frant's explanation of the audit continued. She referenced several charts in Attachment A.
09:37:00 AM  
Ms. Frant responded to questions from the committee about the audit.
09:48:25 AM  
Committee discussion with Ms. Frant about the audit continued.
09:59:45 AM  
Ms. Frant continued to respond to committee questions about the audit.



Presentation by the CU Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence - Committee Discussion Only


10:08:51 AM  
William Woodward, representing the University of Colorado Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, provided three handouts to the committee (Attachments B, C, and D). He discussed his experience in the area of criminal justice. He spoke about a model program called Safe Communities Safe Schools and talked about existing programs and entities working in the area of school safety in response to specific school shootings.
10:19:03 AM  
Mr. Woodward talked about the importance of a comprehensive approach to school safety and listed the foundational areas that comprise such an approach.
10:22:46 AM  
Jodi Witt, Director of School Initiatives for the University of Colorado Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, described the Safe Communities Safe Schools model which was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice. She described the components of the model, including engaging with schools and communities, gathering information and developing an action plan. Mr. Woodward spoke about effectiveness in reducing school violence.
10:31:28 AM  
Mr. Woodward responded to questions from the committee about how a program qualifies as a model program. Further questioning ensued.
10:49:22 AM  
Susan Payne, representing the University of Colorado Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Director of Safety and Security for the Cheyenne Mountain School District, and founder of Safe2Tell, spoke about strategies to improve school safety. She talked about her concerns with the current systems. She responded to questions from the committee about trauma-informed drills.
11:15:56 AM  
The committee continued discussing the improvement of school safety with Ms. Payne. Zero tolerance policies and threat management were the focus of the discussion.
11:27:14 AM  
Rob Wilcox, Deputy Director of Policy for Everytown for Gun Safety, spoke about what the data shows about gun violence in schools.
11:44:08 AM  
Mr. Wilcox continued to discuss responsible storage of firearms and the effectiveness of extreme risk protection orders.



Presentation by the I Love U Guys Foundation - Committee Discussion Only


11:51:34 AM  
John-Michael Keyes, Executive Director of the I Love U Guys Foundation, spoke about his experience with school violence and the formation of the foundation. He discussed his study about plain language associated with crisis response and a standard response protocol that he helped to develop.
12:06:17 PM  
Mr. Keyes talked about the use of the standard response protocol in approximately 1,500 of the 1,800 schools in Colorado. He spoke at length about the training schools get about crisis response.



Parent Students Teachers Panels - Committee Discussion Only


12:20:54 PM  
Maddie Grey, representing Juliette Lewis,
read a statement from Ms. Lewis about her experience with drills and mental
health crises.
12:25:45 PM  
Ellie Perlmutter, representing herself, spoke about her experience as a member of the "lockdown generation."
12:28:23 PM  
Maximus Montano, representing himself, spoke about his experience as a survivor of the STEM School shooting in May 2019.
12:30:18 PM  
Vrishank Bikkumalla, representing himself, discussed his experience as a student at STEM High School in May 2019.
12:34:36 PM  
Sami Powers, representing herself, talked about her fears for her children when they are at school.
12:38:45 PM  
Kari Eckert, representing Robbie's Hope, spoke about her
son's death by suicide.  She distributed materials to the committee
(Attachment E).
12:41:53 PM  
Meagan Fishell, representing herself, spoke about her ex-husband's experience as a student at Columbine.
12:45:55 PM  
Scott Rathbunn, representing himself, spoke about his experience as a student at Columbine High School.
12:49:58 PM  
John Campanesci, representing the Colorado Education Association's School Safety Committee, discussed his experience with school safety and his impressions of the best way to address the issue.
12:56:21 PM  
Char Armstrong, representing herself, discussed her experience as a mental health professional in a Colorado school.
01:01:53 PM  
The panelists responded to questions from the committee about the use of the materials developed by the I Love U Guys Foundation. The committee recessed for lunch.



Requests for Draft Legislation - Committee Discussion Only


02:03:22 PM  
The committee returned to order.
02:09:01 PM  
The chair read a letter from the mother
of a student with special needs related to violence in schools.
02:17:30 PM  
Michael Dohr and Conrad Imel, representing the Office of Legislative Legal Services, explained the process of requesting bill drafts. Mr. Dohr responded to questions from the committee.
02:24:27 PM  
The committee began to discuss ideas for bill drafts. The chair raised the issue of a perceived lack of coordination among school safety actors and about measuring outcomes for various funding streams. Senator Gardner suggested using the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) as a model for a group to direct a coordinated effort. Discussion ensued. There was no objection to drafting a bill to use the CCJJ as a model for a task force that would facilitate an effort to coordinate and evaluate school safety efforts in the state. There was also no objection to drafting a bill that would solicit an outside evaluator to provide recommendations to the aforementioned task force.
02:49:17 PM  
The committee talked about drafting a bill that would require a statewide school climate survey of students, parents, and staff that would potentially drive a response if it became apparent that a problem exists in a school. The committee discussed threat assessments and a charge for the task force requested in the previous bill. Representative Van Winkle commented that the Healthy Kids Survey that already exists asks questions about school climate. There was no objection to moving forward with a bill draft to share survey information with parents.
02:57:13 PM  
The discussion turned to Safe2Tell and how it would be more
efficient to route calls and tips directly to a crisis hotline to help
students struggling with suicidal thoughts. The committee also discussed
the marketing of Safe2Tell. There was no objection to drafting a bill on
these issues.
03:00:48 PM  
Senator Fields spoke about training teachers and other school personnel in mental health first aid. There was no objection to drafting a bill to provide such training.
03:02:44 PM  
Representative Van Winkle raised the issue of interoperable communication efforts. He suggested a bill draft to extend a current program that provides funding for the efforts. There was no objection.
03:04:23 PM  

The discussion turned to the problem of false and malicious Safe2Tell tips and the committee requested that a bill be drafted on the topic.

03:07:35 PM  
Representative Beckman spoke about gaps in mental health support in schools and residential treatment of juveniles. She suggested drafting a bill that would do a feasibility study and master plan for adding residential treatment beds in a state facility as a safety net for schools. There was no objection.
03:12:22 PM  

Representative Van Winkle suggested a bill that would renew the School Safety Disbursement Program and direct a portion of funds to rural schools. There was no objection.

03:13:56 PM  

Senator Fields suggested a bill draft to allow mental health as a valid excuse for allowed school absence under state law. There was no objection.

03:17:15 PM  

Representative Michaelson Jenet suggested a bill draft to continue the School Safety year round and have it meet quarterly. There was no objection.

03:19:11 PM  

Senator Fields spoke about the charge of the aforementioned task force and asked that a study of active shooter drills be included. Senator Lundeen suggested a resolution to honor the I Love U Guys Foundation. There was no objection to such a resolution.


03:38:00 PM   The committee adjourned.






COVID-19 Resources

Temporary Guidelines for Review and Comment Meetings

The House and Senate are temporarily adjourned. The building is closed to the public.