Colorado School Safety Committee Propose 5 Bills for 2020 Legislature
Colorado’s school safety committee approved five out of 11 draft bills, advancing them to the upcoming legislative session that begins in January, reported the Denver Post. The interim legislative committee formed after a fatal shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in May. The bills drafted by the bipartisan committee stayed away from controversial ideas like arming teachers and instead focused on student mental health and safety training.
The committee unanimously passed two bills: one that would reorganize an already existing safety program called Safe2Tell anonymous tip system and allow the attorney general to disclose Safe2Tell information in the event of an imminent safety risk, and another that would create a working group that would include the departments of Education, Public Safety, Public Health and Environment and Human Services to continue studying school safety.
Other bills focused on student mental health. One would require school districts to include behavioral health needs as a reason for an excused absence, alongside physical health problems. Another would require the School Safety Resource Center to create a working group to examine the lack of residential treatment options for youth and propose solutions. Another bill would expand mental health training for teachers.
The committee unanimously voted for a resolution to express support for the I Love U Guys Foundation’s school safety efforts.
The committee is headed by Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet.
Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of School Planning & Management magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.