DCSD's Policy on Safe Schools

DCSD's Policy on Safe Schools
Posted on 08/29/2019
DCSD Logo

Dear Douglas County Community,

Over the past few days, we have received many questions about Douglas County School District’s Board of Education Policy on Safe Schools (ADD), and specifically, whether or not staff members can be armed at our schools.

As the safety of our students is a top priority in the Douglas County School District, we want to explain more about this policy.

Policy ADD directs the Superintendent to develop and maintain a safe schools plan that incorporates 18 key components. These components range from (but are not limited to) providing supervision and security of school grounds, check in procedures for visitors, training for staff and students on emergency response protocols - including practice drills, procedures for safe and confidential reporting of safety concerns, and procedures for the employment, training and use of armed security officers. Each building principal is responsible for implementing the safe schools plan at his or her school. Policy ADD applies to both district-run schools and charter schools.

When it comes to the issue of arming staff -- Douglas County School District absolutely supports the best practice of having dedicated, armed security in place at schools. In accordance with Policy ADD, armed security personnel must meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed solely for security purposes
  • Be P.O.S.T. certified (certified by Peace Officer Standards and Training)

In addition, DCSD security staff are uniformed and not allowed to conceal their weapons while engaging in their duties.

Douglas County School District does not support the arming of any staff member who is not a dedicated security officer. In addition, we do not support the concealment of arms by our dedicated security personnel. DCSD’s approach is designed to ensure that law enforcement knows who is armed -- and who is not -- in the case of an emergency, such as an active shooter situation. This is critical for the safety of students, staff, and law enforcement personnel during a crisis. We have a cohesive partnership with all of our local law enforcement agencies.

A School Resource Officer (SRO) is assigned to each of our comprehensive neighborhood high schools. New this year, we added a School Resource Officer to each of our comprehensive neighborhood middle schools. SROs are armed, uniformed law enforcement personnel. At our elementary schools, an officer or deputy makes multiple unannounced daily visits as part of the School Marshal Program (SMP). SMPs are also armed, uniformed law enforcement personnel.

DCSD’s security team also includes armed area managers, as well as campus security officers.

DCSD believes in a multi-tiered, comprehensive approach to school safety. This includes:  physical security of our facilities, monitoring school culture and climate, promoting mental/behavioral health, conducting threat assessments, enhancing bystander response and reporting (e.g. Safe2Tell and Text-a-Tip programs), and information sharing between schools and outside social services agencies.

Should you have any questions about Douglas County School District’s Safe Schools Policy, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Douglas County School District

David Ray
Board President
Douglas County School District

                                     

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.

In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District’s Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 303-387-0067. Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.