Cañon City school district hosts school safety meeting

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Following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, two months ago, local school leaders are taking a closer look at safety. 

The Cañon City School District hosted a community meeting about school safety on Monday.  

“The kids are our greatest asset and the teachers that teach them,” Renne DuPont, a local who attended the meeting, said.

Safety is the number one priority for Cañon City School District.

“If our kids don’t feel safe, they can’t learn,” Paula Busser with Cañon City School Support Services said. “If our teachers don’t feel safe, they can’t teach. We talk a lot about response efforts. We have to know how to respond, but we also have to be proactive.”

With new counseling efforts, school officials hope to spot a student having a hard time and get them access to mental health help before their actions turn violent.  

“A kid’s behavior is not always just because he wants to be bad or to cause a threat,” Busser said. “It could be something that happened to them in their life.”

Many in Cañon City said it won’t happen to them, but DuPont said you can never be too sure.  

“We are not immune. Small town America is not immune,” DuPont said.

Cañon City School District Superintendent George Welsh believes they are ready.  

“If something were to happen in our school, I have no doubt that in a matter of minutes we’d have first responders there,” Welsh said.  

When Welsh was asked whether he would support arming teachers, he said there are two armed school resource officers, and in a town like Cañon City, law enforcement officers are not too far away.  

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