Colorado's Office of School Safety makes recommendations to lawmakers

Report finds many school leaders are unaware of safety resources
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Posted at 8:47 AM, Mar 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-27 12:34:01-04

DENVER — As Colorado lawmakers consider legislation to make schools safer, a new report could offer some guidance.

Colorado’s Office of School Safety was created in 2023 and tasked with making recommendations to lawmakers. A working group identified 160 existing programs, grants and supports available to schools.

Office of the School Safety director Chris Harms said one problem is that many school leaders aren’t aware of them.

“Whether it's bullying prevention, suicide prevention, threat assessment, training, all of those are many of the programs that are part of those 160 plus programs,” Harms said.

Among other things, the reportr recommends creating an online portal for schools to access these resources. The goal would be a website where school leaders and educators could search for specific supports and get contact information for an agency or person to help them. Harms said many schools in Colorado don’t have basic safety systems in place like doors that lock from the inside.

Funding continues to be a challenge. Harms said her office recently read 126 grant applications from schools and districts, asking for almost $43 million, but only $16 million was available. She hopes state lawmakers will use the report as a roadmap during their current and future sessions.

Colorado's Office of School Safety makes recommendations to lawmakers

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