I write to you about the important issues of student social and emotional health and campus safety. With the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern United States history have come in the last five months. At The Colorado Springs School, we practice incident response protocols monthly and last year, through the generosity of several current families and grandparents, we added a security guard to campus. Please reach out to me if you would like to support this initiative. While I believe these measures are essential steps in the right direction, we are under no illusions that this creates an invulnerable blanket of safety at The Colorado Springs School. Responding to threatening situations is only one part of the equation, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Safe2Tell® is a statewide initiative developed under the auspices of the Office of the Attorney General of Colorado to provide a way for individuals to anonymously express concerns about students who are engaging in risky or threatening behavior. Students use Safe2Tell® Colorado to report: bullying, stealing, threats, fights, drugs, alcohol, weapons, sexual misconduct, harassment, stalking, dating violence, cutting, suicidal behaviors or any other violent or dangerous situations that threaten their safety or the safety of others. It is for the purpose of prevention and intervention, to help keep students safe and healthy. Concerns are submitted to Safe2Tell®, processed by the Colorado State Patrol Communications Center, then reported to the school and to law enforcement. At CSS, reports received from Safe2Tell® are initially investigated by our school Counselor. By calling 1-877-542-7233 or submitting a tip through the Safe2Tell.org website, students can help anyone who is in trouble.
- CSS is beginning a partnership with the Beneath the Surface campaign lead by Colorado Crisis Services, Colorado’s first statewide resource for mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information, and referrals. Colorado Crisis Services came out of an initiative from Gov. John Hickenlooper, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system. Students seeking contact with a trained counselor can Text TALK to 38255. While standard texting rates apply, there is no additional charge for this service. For more information about this program please visit, https://need2text.com/
- Talking to Children About Tragedies (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Helping Kids After a Shooting (American School Counselor Association)
- Explaining the News to Our Kids (Common Sense Media)
- Helping Children Cope with Frightening News (Child Mind Institute)
- Helping Children Cope with Terrorism - Tips for Families and Educators (National Association of School Psychologists)
Lastly, a few CSS Middle School students have expressed interest in The National School Walkout, a 17-minute student-led initiative that will occur at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14. We see this entirely optional activity (academic classes will continue) as a way our students can develop their leadership skills, express their respect for those that lost their lives, and empathize with the survivors. We will supervise 17 minutes of respectful silence on our quad. Please let Eric Gaylord know if you or your student would like to participate.
Thanks for your time and for your support. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I am proud to be part of this amazing community.
Head of School