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Week of 10/18/10: Safe schools wrap-up

Colorado Attorney General touts Safe2Tell

Colorado AG John Suthers this week unveiled new statistics from Safe2Tell, a program within the Office of the Attorney General, illustrating how the program has helped school officials and law enforcement intervene in thousands of potentially dangerous and life-threatening situations.

Since the 2004-2005 school year, students across Colorado have filed more than 2,700 reports concerningbullying, gangs and other problems through Safe2Tell. These tips and reports have helped local school and law enforcement to intervene and put a halt to problems before they grow and have potentially disastrous consequences.

The work of Safe2Tell and the more than 2,782 tips students provided have resulted in:

  • 284 school disciplinary actions
  • 67 arrests
  • 393 investigations
  • 344 counseling referrals
  • 282 prevention and intervention plans
  • 796 increased monitoring of individuals

Suthers and officials from Jeffco Public Schools also announced today that Safe2Text, a pilot program expanding the way students can file tips and reports, has been a resounding success. Safe2Text, a pilot program with Jeffco Public Schools, allows students to file anonymous reports with school officials and law enforcement through an encrypted two-way text message system. Since the start of the pilot program with Jeffco Public Schools, Safe2Text has generated 28 serious tip reports:

  • Seven reports involving drugs, four reports concerning bullying, three reports of suicidal threats
  • Three reports of depression, three reports of sexual misconduct and one each of the following: child abuse, cutting, assault, harassment, discrimination, counseling, overpricing a fundraiser and one report classified as “other.”

Students can file a tip or a report with Safe2Tell by calling 1-877-542-7233 or by submitting a tip through the program’s Web site, www.safe2tell.org.

Colorado Legacy Foundation receives $50,000 bullying prevention grant

The Colorado Legacy Foundation has received a $50,000 grant from the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado to help create safer, healthier schools.

The grant supports one of the Colorado Legacy Foundation’s key initiatives – health and wellness in schools. The funding will be used to host the 2010 Healthy Schools Summit on Tuesday, Nov. 9, launch a new section dedicated exclusively to bullying prevention on the foundation’s online Health and Wellness Best Practices Guide, and provide hands-on bullying prevention assistance to schools as well as grants to support bullying prevention work.

The Nov. 9 Healthy Schools Summit agenda includes a bullying prevention panel of national and local speakers from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) as well as the National Center for School Engagement and Colorado School Safety Resource Center. The summit – also sponsored by Kaiser Permanente of Colorado and Western Dairy Association – is for superintendents, school district administrators, teachers, coordinated school health team members, community health and wellness agencies, health care providers and school board members. Register for this free, full-day event.

The guide is the second in a series of best practices published by the Colorado Legacy Foundation in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education. The new bullying prevention section will launch in early November.

Schools follow new polices for head injuries

7NEWS reports on new policies in Colorado high schools aimed at preventing long-term head injuries in student athletes. Prior to this year, students could start practicing and playing again without a written release from a doctor. Now, the written consent only means the student athlete can proceed to step two of a six-step return-to-play process.

The six-step approach includes:

  • No physical activity as long as there are symptoms;
  • Light aerobic activity;
  • Sport-specific exercise;
  • Non-contact training drills; full-contact practice;
  • Return to play.

Another new policy puts the onus on high school coaches. High school coaches must take the 20-minute online course before the season, or they won’t be allowed to coach. So far, it’s not a requirement in middle schools or coaches who don’t have a supervisory role, such as volunteer assistants.

Teaching kids about safety on two wheels

9News reports about what students in one Jefferson County elementary school are doing to learn about bicycle safety through a program funded by a $35,000 federal grant, which will allow Bicycle Colorado to map out the neighborhoods and find the safest routes to school.

New law prevents expulsion of Colorado kindergartner

9News also reported on a boy who brought a toy gun to school.

“School officials in Grand Junction say a kindergartner who brought a toy gun to school was spared expulsion because of a new state law. A teacher at Nisley Elementary School saw the toy gun in the boy’s backpack on Tuesday. Officials found he wasn’t trying to threaten anyone but just wanted to show friends his new toy. School district spokesman Jeff Kirtland told The Daily Sentinel that state law previously required anyone with a facsimile gun in school to be removed from school.

Lawmakers changed the state’s “zero tolerance” law in 2009 after a 17-year-old drill team commander was suspended for having practice rifles in her vehicle at a high school in Aurora.”

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