BOULDER, Colo. — Researchers at University of Colorado Boulder will soon help equip at least 40 schools across Colorado with measures to help prevent violence.
A $2 million grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance will allow CU Boulder's Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) to implement the Safe Communities Safe Schools (SCSS) program at schools that apply and are accepted.
This recent round of funding will be used over a three-year period and expounds upon the work CSPV began shortly after the 1999 Columbine school shooting.
"Some of our schools actually start to work on staff capacity and others, they've implemented bullying prevention programs," said Beverly Kingston, director of CSPV. "Some of the schools have focused on social emotional learning programs."
Chris Zimmerman, principal of Cimarron Middle School in Douglas County, began working with CSPV in 2018 to identify ways to increase on-campus safety. The initial step was for campus leadership to take a poll of the student body population.
"Your data is really your students' voices and your staff's voices. And it allowed us to dig in and find out the needs of how we can keep them safe and how we can keep them educated," Zimmerman said.
In response to that polling, Zimmerman said school officials later identified areas where Cimarron Middle could make changes, including updates to disciplinary policies and the implementation of social-emotional programs.
"Parents are dropping off 1,200 students and really want two things: they want their students to learn, and they want them to be safe," the principal said. "I shoulder that responsibility. So having those proactive approaches to school safety is paramount."