School safety committee to be formed
School District 51 Superintendent Steve Schultz hopes to have a school safety working group formed as soon as next Thursday and no later than the end of the first full week of February.
The group would review “best practices” for school safety, review current safety practices in the district and analyze ideas community members have suggested for enhancing school safety, including arming volunteers who would patrol local schools and allowing teachers with concealed carry permits to bring their guns to school. The group would present its findings to District 51 School Board members at a board business meeting March 19.
The group ideally will have 15 to 20 members, Schultz said, and include district employees from a variety of departments, mental-health professionals, law enforcement, members of various community groups and citizens interested in the subject.
“I want as many community members as possible to try to represent every voice possible,” he said.
Schultz said he has already contacted some potential working group members and hopes to have members assembled as soon as possible so the group can begin to meet. People who aren’t selected for the main panel are still welcome to participate in the process by sharing their thoughts with the group, Schultz said.
The school board will use the March 19 presentation from the working group to inform any possible changes to school safety procedures. State law currently restricts some actions school boards can take when it comes to guns in schools but legislation may change that. Senate Bill 9, introduced this month in the Capitol, would allow Colorado school boards to adopt a policy that would allow school district employees who have concealed handgun permits to carry a concealed handgun on school property.
Current law does not allow Coloradans with concealed handgun permits to bring handguns on public school grounds unless the gun is in a compartment in a locked vehicle, the permit owner is an on-duty school security officer contracted and employed by the school district, or the gun is used for hunting or shooting sports on undeveloped property owned by the school district.