As a result, schools across the region have recently experienced a higher number of reports involving threats, jokes about school shootings, and misunderstood conversations resulting in fear and disruption to normal school operations. Many of these are the result of students not thinking about the potential impact of their words or actions.
We take every report and concern very seriously and take all appropriate actions to ensure student safety. In light of the current climate, we need your help to make sure our students are aware and avoid potential consequences at school and in the community. Here are a few guiding points that may help parents talk to their children about these issues:
- Help your children to be aware of the sensitive climate and to be thoughtful about their conversations (in person and via technology) and how easily they can be misunderstood.
- Remind your children that joking about school shootings, guns, violence, etc. is not funny and can result in school discipline and legal charges.
- Remind your children that the political debate about guns can be controversial. We all need to be thoughtful in our words and actions and respectful of those with differing views.
- If your children empathize with a perpetrator of school violence, please connect them with a school counselor or school administrator who can help them talk specifically about what they want to be different about their lives or school.
- If your children have fears or school safety concerns, connect them with a teacher, school counselor or administrator who can help.
Please keep in mind that sometimes rumors can quickly spread through mainstream and social media while facts are still being determined. The District’s goal is to always communicate the facts directly to you as best we can and as soon as it is appropriate for us to do so, in partnership with law enforcement.
We encourage you and your child to talk directly to an adult at school with any concerns, as this is the best and quickest way for us to assess and intervene. You can contact the Durango 9-R Department of Safety and Security at 970-759-0681. If the situation requires anonymity, use the Safe2Tell tip line, 1-877-542-7233 or www.safe2tell.org.
School remains the very best place for our students to be, and we appreciate your partnership as we continue to support our Durango 9-R students.