How Colorado Schools Are Upping Security For The First School Year Post-Parkland

Listen Now
Photo: School Security - AP Photo
Students at William Hackett Middle School pass through metal detectors on the first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in Albany, N.Y. Schools in Colorado are considering similar security measures for the 2018-19 school year.

As summer winds down for Colorado students, many are returning to schools with heightened security. After high-profile school shootings in early 2018, such as that at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, some Colorado districts are investing in new door locks, safety teams and suicide prevention measures.

Some districts are going even farther: The Denver Post reported in July that at least 30 Colorado school districts and charter schools allow teachers to carry guns, despite there being no statewide training standards.

Chris Harms, the director of Colorado's School Safety Resource Center, talked to Colorado Matters about the adjustments she's seen and advised schools on this summer. Not all school safety is metal detectors and armed educators, Harms said. The School Safety Resource Center also emphasizes suicide prevention and deescalation techniques.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law the School Security Disbursement Program, which will allocate $35 million in grants to schools to enhance school security. Harms calls it an excellent start, but is certain many school districts could use even more funds.