Colorado School Safety Working Group calls for volunteers

Suzie Glassman

By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver

(Castle Rock, CO) Colorado’s School Safety Working Group invites the public to engage with its work to make schools safer for everyone. State law established the group in 2020, but the effort stalled during the pandemic and is just now getting underway.

Leaders from multiple agencies, including the Departments of Public Safety, Education, and Public Health and Environment, along with police, fire, school resource officers, and others, will connect the work done in various state agencies to each other and to schools, mental health services, and crisis support programs.

John Castillo, whose son Kendrick died at the hands of a school shooter in 2019, serves as the group’s School Safety Advocate, said, “The more conversations and meaningful ideas that would make students and faculty safe in schools is a positive step in the right direction.”

According to a release by the Department of Education, the group's work must be elevated to include voices from the community. The working group will establish subgroups to dig into specific areas, including “behavioral and mental health services in schools, suicide prevention, and safety and security measures, among others.”

Volunteers can send their names, contact information, and interest in school safety to the working group’s facilitator at Confluence Policy and Strategy Group at

About the School Safety Working Group

Colorado Public Safety executive director Stan Hilkey, who chairs the working group, said, “The School Safety Working Group brings stakeholders from state and local government and the community to the table to talk about interagency coordination and data with the ultimate goal of making schools safer.”

Education Commissioner Kathy Anthes also said there is a fundamental and urgent need to make schools safe places to learn and to ensure educators, students, and families feel safe within them.

“It’s going to take all of us working together to address not just the mechanics of school safety but to dig in and tackle the root causes of violence in our schools,” she said.

The group will have its second meeting on June 27, 2023. More information is available on the Department of Public Safety website.

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I tell the stories of Douglas County school district administrators, staff, teachers, parents, children, and community members who call this county their home. I aim to inform the public on issues big or small related to the school district that matter to those with a vested interest.

Denver, CO

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