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Week of 10/11/10: Safe schools wrap-up

October is National Bullying Prevention Month The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Douglas County School District are doing many things to address bullying. For instance, there is the Youth, Education & Safety in Schools or Y.E.S.S. program that brings deputies into schools to teach middle school health classes; the Text-A-Tip program, Suicide Intervention/Prevention, participation in the Enforcing Under Age Drinking Laws grant, and participation in several Douglas County Youth Initiative coalitions. Douglas County was the first school district in Colorado to offer the Text-A-Tip program to district high school students and is not a public program. Students who are being victimized or know of another student who may be in crisis, can send an anonymous tip to law enforcement in real time. Each text message is encrypted to ensure complete anonymity. For other questions about the program contact Phyllis Harvey at or 303-814-7033.

Teacher won’t faces charges after allegedly locking in students CBS4 reports that no charges will be filed against a substitute teacher accused of misbehaving at Manny Martinez Middle School, a Denver charter school, last month. Students complained the substitute locked them in a classroom and made inappropriate and lewd comments. They also say he violated school policy by taking pictures of students. Investigators say there is not enough evidence to charge the teacher, but he has been banned from the school.

Suicides of bullied gay kids in other states jolt Colorado educators to action The Denver Post reports on the spate of recent suicides of gay youth whose families say they were relentlessly bullied at school. “In recent weeks, newspapers have been full of photos of smiling little boys and young men — half a dozen of them, as young as 11 — who killed themselves after being bullied because they were gay or because somebody thought they were. The stories brought unprecedented attention to something anyone who has ever been a gay, lesbian or transgender kid is painfully aware of: Being an adolescent who is not heterosexual can mean years of bullying, isolation, even violence. While none of those high-profile suicides happened in Colorado, they have jolted educators, leaders, activists and mental-health counselors in the state to search for solutions across a variety of arenas, from new laws to new approaches to combating bullying.”

Curbing underage drinking Last spring, the Denver Office of Drug Strategy introduced a new campaign encouraging parents to talk with their kids about not using alcohol. The core to this campaign are toolkits, available in Spanish and English, that give parents the tools, tips, and resources they need to start the conversation and keep it going. Get a copy of the Parent Toolkit aimed at parents of middle school students. Educational posters are available as well. To request posters, flyers, or Parent Toolkits for your organization, please email or Or, you can visit this website to download electronic files.

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