Posted inCrime and Courts, Education, Health, Politics and Government

Colorado’s trailblazing Safe2Tell system needs significant upgrades, lawmakers say

Two decades ago, in the wake of the Columbine school shooting, Colorado officials created the Safe2Tell anonymous tip line to help prevent more school massacres.  The system set a standard for prevention efforts, one replicated across the nation. But now, lawmakers and mental health experts think Colorado’s system needs a significant upgrade to address an […]

Posted inColoradans, Crime and Courts, Education, News

Jeffco Public Schools’ security chief was already losing sleep over the Columbine anniversary. And then this week happened.

John McDonald already struggles with sleepless nights. The man in charge of the safety and security of the 86,000 students attending Jeffco Public Schools often wakes from the recurring nightmare that visits him late, the one where the kindergartners are running to him in search of protection. As the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, Education, News

Most Americans believe schools have become less safe in the 20 years since Columbine, poll shows

By Emily Swanson, Carolyn Thompson and Hannah Fingerhut, The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Twenty years after the Columbine High School shooting made practicing for armed intruders as routine as fire drills, many parentshave only tepid confidence in the ability of schools to stop a gunman, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public […]

Posted inUncategorized

What we learned investigating school safety for our “After Columbine” series

The Colorado Sun’s After Columbine series of investigative reports found that much has changed in Colorado schools 20 years after that mass shooting pierced the nation’s consciousness. Here are a few of the big things we learned during our reporting: Investigative journalism like this is only possible because of the support of readers like you. […]

Posted inSun Investigation

No Colorado school districts meet federal safety standards for behavioral health staffing, investigation shows

Tamara Durbin is responsible for making sure more than 4,300 students across some 5,000 square miles of Colorado’s Eastern Plains get mental health care when they need it. She does so with a patchwork of staffers that comes nowhere close to what the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for student safety. The […]

Posted inEducation, News

Use of Safe2Tell, created in response to Columbine, is growing as front line tool in school safety

Susan Payne remembers the year, 2010, when the Safe2Tell platform for tips on potentially harmful school behavior had just introduced a texting option that yielded only about 100 reports. One of them involved some boys, online gamers, who were winding up their video competition and signing off when something happened that caused them to sound […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: How the media — including me — unwittingly helped create a Columbine narrative that has inspired murderers ever since

Red Lake High School. Dawson College. Sparks Middle School. Townville Elementary School. In the 20 years since the Columbine High School murders, there have been at least 43 attacks around the world where killers drew inspiration from Columbine. All told, 210 people were murdered. Another 394 were injured. Gutenberg Gymnasium. Albertville-Realschule. Seinäjoki University. Lycée Alexis […]

Posted inSun Investigation

Twenty years after Columbine, Colorado schools are assessing an astonishing number of student threats

The Snapchat messages were chilling. “13-inch steel knife,” a 15-year-old boy wrote to a fellow student, describing his weapon and including a list of kids at Green Mountain High School that he planned to “eliminate.” She could keep her friend off the kill list, the boy noted, if she came over to his house or […]

Posted inEducation, News

A fight on a school bus, a knife in a backpack, suicide tips from Safe2Tell: The post-Columbine world of school safety runs 24/7

“Fight in progress,” the dispatcher’s voice crackled into the patrol car. Officer Clyde Casados slowed to a stop on a quiet neighborhood street in northeast Denver and checked his laptop screen for more detail: students were brawling on a school bus near Xenia Street and East 23rd Avenue. It was 4:33 p.m. on a Thursday, […]

Posted inOpinion

From the Editor: Columbine memories bind us together 20 years later, as do the issues that grew out of tragedy

“Have you heard the news?” came the phone call on my day off, my birthday. “There’s been a school shooting.” I learned about the April 20, 1999, shooting at Columbine High School while standing in the parking lot at Target with a new bicycle in the trunk of my car, a gift for my daughter’s […]