(May 17) – In the wake of recent violent incidents involving students, House and Senate Leadership at the state capitol announced the formation of a new interim committee focused on studying school safety in Colorado. The safety of Colorado students, school personnel, and volunteers is of paramount concern to the General Assembly.
“As a parent, I am concerned about the toll incidents of violent and tragic school shootings have on our children and communities,” said Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder. “We must do more to help examine and address this crisis, so this committee will study this critical issue over the interim and report back to the legislature on what they’ve learned and what solutions may be found.”
“Sadly, Colorado is all too familiar with school shootings, and it is clear that we all have a responsibility to do more to prevent these horrible tragedies,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “Legislators cannot make the necessary changes alone, which is why we will convene this interim study committee, with representation from law enforcement, educators, and other stakeholders, to develop the right policies for Colorado.”
“There are 178 school districts in Colorado that operate under local control per our state constitution. We also have voluminous state statute already on the books regarding emergency response planning and armed security in our public schools,” said Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Douglas County. “This interim committee will begin its work by reviewing those statutes, the division of constitutional authority between school districts and state government, and then they will move forward on proposing solutions to better protect students.”
“Clearly we can do more to protect our children and our schools from these violent attacks,” said House GOP Leader Patrick Neville. “We began the process last year by providing financial assistance to schools to secure their facilities and fund trained personnel to enhance physical protection. We’ve also provided funding to enable professionals to come alongside students to assist with their personal needs should tragedy strike. We will do more.”
The committee will examine issues related to school safety, mental health, and the prevention of threats to the safety of students, teachers, administrators, employees, and volunteers across the state. The committee will have the opportunity to seek testimony from a wide range of experts to aid in their mission.
Two members from each caucus in both chambers will serve on this bipartisan committee, which will meet three times during the interim and will have the ability to recommend legislation. Members of the committee will be appointed by June 1.
Click here to read the resolution.