Dr. Jason Glass, Superintendent of Jeffco Schools, notes in his Foreword of the Safety and Security Task Force Report, how the Task Force was created.
“For weeks after the Parkland shooting, school staff and law enforcement here in Jeffco dealt with dozens of copycat threats. A terrifying and almost nightly cycle followed, with someone making a threatening statement on social media or a call to Safe2Tell. Each incident was followed by intense and rapid investigations, added safety procedures and security personnel at schools, and letters home to families to explain what was happening.”
“Suggested political responses emerged from all sides, ranging between national efforts to increase regulations on guns and suggestions that teachers and other staff in schools be armed. Jeffco Public Schools’ systems of managing school threats was tested and scrutinized, and people in our community wondered if we were doing all we could to protect our students from school violence.”
“In response to this crisis, Jeffco Public Schools held a community forum and conversation on March 20, where experts from law enforcement, legal, and school safety spoke, and community members also had a conversation about additional steps we could take.”
“That night, the district created the Jeffco School Safety and Security Task Force.”
We were honored to serve on this task force along with 48 others, including survivors and safety and security experts who have served our community during traumatic events for many years.
The work of the committee was both rewarding and difficult but we are both impressed with the thoughtfulness and discussion that occurred in the 4 subcommittees.
There are no easy answers but there are some very good recommendations that came from this Task Force. The costs of many of the recommendations are not feasible without additional resources, such as those with #YesonAmendment73 as well as #Yeson5A5B, but the expense for the safety of our children and staff is reasonable and should be a priority.
We hope that you will take the time to read the entire report:
Once you have done so, we hope you will take the time to think through these expenses and consider that funding education is a necessary investment. Without additional resources, not much can be done. We ask you to consider that funding safety and security for the students of staff of Jeffco is also a necessary investment and we ask you to remember to advocate for that need strongly.
Consider advocating through communications to our legislators who approve funding for our schools. Consider attending the community budget forums that are held every spring throughout Jeffco and advocate for the needs there. Consider emailing our Board of Education and asking them to make safety and security a priority.
We are so grateful that our school district intends to continue the work of this task force, it is a logical and wise next step and offers transparency and community outreach unmatched by any other district in the nation. The safety and security task force is the first of its kind and we hope to see other school districts truly embrace this model of involvement.
Our Jeffco Schools Security Team is known as the Gold Standard nationwide and invited around the country for their expertise. Imagine how much more they could do with adequate resources.