October: Safe Schools Month in Colorado
Governor Hickenlooper, with support from Senate Joint Resolution 14-031, named October 2015 as the first-ever Safe Schools Month in Colorado this year in order to highlight safety in schools for students, school staff, and visitors alike.
The movement encouraged parents, school officials, teachers, and anyone concerned about safety in our schools to look closely at ways school safety could be addressed and improved, starting with inspiring parents to ask the following questions:
- What is the emergency operations plan at my child’s school?
- Is my contact information at my child’s school current?
- How will my child’s school communicate with me in the event of an emergency?
A blog post put out by the Governor’s Office also offers the following potential actions for those who were interested in participating in School Safety Month and beyond:
- Commit to completing a school climate survey and using that data to create and enhance a positive school climate.
- Commit to implementing a written information sharing agreement among agencies and schools in the community to share information about public safety concerns.
- Create a threat assessment process to identify students who may be at risk of committing violence, assess concerns, and resolve situations with compassionate and effective approaches.
- Promote anonymous reporting(link is external) to provide a safe and anonymous way for students and community members to voice safety concerns.
- Commit to creating, updating, and practicing a comprehensive emergency operations plan. A coordinated school crisis response plan, which incorporates the National Incident Management System (NIMS), is a key component to protecting our students and school staff when danger occurs.
- Commit to implementing practices to prevent youth suicide and substance abuse.
Last month’s major focus on school safety also included a School Safety Summit held in Loveland, Colorado. The Summit produced more than two-dozen workshops over a two day period for teachers, school administrators, and police officers on topics impacting kids at school ranging from bullying, internet safety, social media, and mental health and suicide.
For more information and tips to increase school safety in your own community and at your child’s school, download your copy of the free Moms Fight Back eBook: Back-to-School Safety and watch our recent Fireside Chat withpolice psychologist and Colorado native Dr. John Nicoletti about how to keep our kids safe when they’re at school. We engaged a studio audience in this serious conversation on bullying, school shootings, school/community responsibility and how to recognize and address danger in your child’s school environment. A must-watch for anyone interested in school safety issues!