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Week of Nov. 1: Safe schools snippets

New bullying prevention web resource

A new resource to help schools and districts prevent bullying is now online through the Colorado Legacy Foundation. It’s packed with tips, tools and resources for educators, parents, school boards and community members. Those who want to create safer schools also will find data, best practices, action steps, and success stories – whether their concern is cyberbullying or harassment due to gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, religion, race, ability or national origin.

The added advantage of this new online resource is that it organizes the best of what’s already out there and offers bullying prevention information in one place so users don’t have to sift through endless websites. The Colorado Legacy Foundation is making it more manageable for schools to expect and maintain a culture of respect and tolerance.

The release of this new online resource is especially timely, given the recent series of devastating incidents of bullying and suicides across the country. The new bullying prevention section is part of the foundation’s newly updated Health and Wellness Best Practices Guide. This new resource is supported by a generous grant from the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado.

GLBT Community Center of Colorado, DPS work to end anti-gay bullying

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado (The Center) is working with One Colorado, The Healthy Colorado Youth Alliance and officials from Denver Public Schools on ways to ensure a safe school environment for LGBT and questioning youth who attend DPS schools.

In October, DPS school board members Andrea Merida and Mary Seawall and DPS District LGBT Liaison Ken Santistevan met with staff from Rainbow Alley – the Center’s drop-in center for youth 12-21 – as well as One Colorado, a statewide LGBT political advocacy organization, and The Healthy Colorado Youth Alliance.

The goal of these meetings was to open a dialogue between DPS and community groups on issues directly affecting LGBT youth. 

”The charge of this coalition is to ensure that no student falls through the cracks because of bullying. Every DPS student should graduate and nothing should interfere with that end,” Merida said.

As a result of these meetings, DPS will now work with Rainbow Alley to support DPS schools that have Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) organizations, review the district’s policies directly related to LGBT issues, revive the district’s LGBT Education Advisory Council that has been inactive for the past three years, explore ways to provide sensitivity training and educate DPS staff and students about non-traditional family issues. The group also will make a presentation to the Mayor’s GLBT Commission regarding the group’s plans and to encourage collaboration.

Threat investigated at Valley High School in Gilcrest

Channel 7 reports a story about a Columbine-like threat. “School and law enforcement officials are investigating a Columbine like threat in the Valley RE-1 School District in Gilcrest.

The district was contacted Wednesday by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office about a student making verbal threats that an event was going to happen Thursday at Valley High School.

The Sheriff’s Office said the threat was made by a 17-year-old student.

“There’s wasn’t any talk of deliberately hurting anyone with weapons,” said Valley Superintendent Joe Barbie. “The kid was looking for a way to get out of school.”

Barbie said she learned of the threats late Wednesday evening after the school board work session.

“Valley High School was searched and no weapons or explosives were found,” said Barbie. “Law enforcement officers are continuing their investigation.”

Trial set for man accused in Colorado school shooting

9News reports on the fate of a man accused of shooting and wounding two eighth-graders outside their middle school.

A Jefferson County judge on Monday scheduled a March 2011 trial for Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood, who faces 15 charges, including attempted first-degree murder. The judge says he won’t order a second mental health evaluation for now but that he would make a final ruling later.

Eastwood pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Authorities say teachers tackled and restrained Eastwood until deputies arrived at Deer Creek Middle School in south suburban Denver on Feb. 23.

Police: Fake immigration doctor arrested in sex assault

Channel 7 reports on the arrest of a man who posed as an immigration doctor and sexually assaulted a girl in her Aurora home near school.

“Aurora police have arrested a man suspected of posing as an immigration doctor to sexually assault a 9-year-old girl in a home near Lansing Elementary School.

Kenneth Dean Lee, 54, of Aurora, was taken into custody without incident Friday morning, according to police. They said work by the police department led to Lee’s arrest.”

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