SCHOOL SAFETY AND YOUTH IN CRISIS
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01:37 PM -- Davis Family
Majority Leader Scheffel, chair, welcomed the audience and went over the agenda. He spoke about the Davis' family's loss and their response to tragedy. He spoke about the benefits to the state of Colorado of having this information available to make good policy. He thanked the Davises for their contribution.
01:41 PM -- Michael Davis, father of Claire Davis, introduced himself and distributed a written statement to the committee (Attachment A). He thanked the committee for waiting until the completion of the arbitration between the family and Littleton Public Schools (LPS). He thanked legislative leadership and Governor Hickenlooper for studying the reports, the three independent groups of experts for providing their analyses and writing the reports, Michael Roche for his role in handling the depositions, the Arapahoe County Sheriff for thinking of the idea of expert reports, the teachers and administration of LPS and Arapahoe High School (AHS) for their contributions of honest information, Natalie Pramenko, principal of AHS for her willingness to make changes to prevent future tragedies, Brian Ewart, Superintendent of LPS, who publicly acknowledged that LPS and AHS missed opportunities to prevent the tragic deaths of two students and publicly apologized for those mistakes. Mr. Davis spoke about the goals of the arbitration, and about the changes recommended in the three reports.
He continued discussing the role schools play in identifying troubled students and identifying resources to help. He said that schools must be held accountable for carrying out this responsibility. Mr. Davis said that there is no role for finger-pointing or blame, and that schools should not become less tolerant or more punitive. He urged schools to embrace the reports' recommendations in a mindful, professional, caring manner. He said that this study is no longer about his daughter Claire, or Karl Pierson, who he described as a teenager in crisis who may have made different choices if a helping hand had reached out to him. Mr. Davis said that this process is now about the next student in crisis who needs a helping hand, and about making sure interventions occur to prevent tragedy. He introduced Susan Payne, director of Safe2Tell, and Beverly Kingston, board member of Safe2Tell, and a student at Kent Denver who gave $1200 she raised on Colorado Gives Day to Safe2Tell.
01:54 PM -- Michael Roche, attorney for Mr. and Mrs. Davis, spoke about his part in the arbitration process and the uniqueness of the process. He discussed the Davis family's commitment to finding answers, not blame, and solutions, not problems. He thanked the legislative leaders who showed bipartisanship in passing the Claire Davis School Safety Act in 2015 and described that law's role in finding answers to the causes of the shooting at AHS. Mr. Roche introduced the first report, conducted by the University of Colorado's Center for the Prevention and Study of Violence.