Senate Leaders Keep Laser-like Focus on School Safety

Denver -- In an effort to detect and deter potential schoolyard violence before tragedy strikes, the Colorado Senate’s top two Republicans on Wednesday unveiled SB-193, a bill aimed at encouraging confidential information-sharing in time to avert acts of violence.

Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs) and Majority Leader Mark Scheffel (R-Parker) have made public school safety a major focus of their work in the past two meetings of the General Assembly, producing a series of first-in-the-nation reforms. Wednesday's bipartisan approval of SB-193 by the Senate Judiciary Committee keeps that momentum going.

"What this bill aims at is meeting a demand from educators, administrators and parents for Safe2Tell programs and training materials that can improve information-sharing in time to prevent the kind of schoolyard tragedies we’ve seen far too often," Cadman told committee members. "Closing those information gaps means changing the culture at every level of education, from grade school to high school and beyond, by encouraging and facilitating communication opportunities for those who feel threatened, see a threat or become aware of someone who is potentially a danger to themselves or others."

SB-193 will make Safe2Tell resources and training available at no charge to every preschool, elementary school and high school in Colorado, as well as 4-H extension offices and Boys and Girls Clubs, before June 30, 2017. It encourages development of a Safe2Tell training curriculum and the holding of free-to-attend training sessions across the state.

"What we heard over and over again in the wake of these tragedies is that they may have been prevented if not for miscommunications, or a lack of communication, between students, parents, educators, law enforcers and mental health professionals," added Scheffel. "Safe2Tell is the heart and soul of our efforts to bridge those communications gaps by providing schools with the resources and support they need to put these programs in place as quickly as possible."

Please contact Sean Paige at 719-337-0355 with any questions.

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