A unanimous vote on Monday by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners announced that $10 million will go toward public school safety and mental health services.
The decision was in response to last week’s shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch that left one student dead and eight injured.
The funds will come from the county’s general fund and reserves, reports the Denver Channel.
“I am very pleased that we have the school board here, I have been working closely with Superintendent [Thomas] Tucker to start working with him on how we make Douglas County Schools safe and do it together,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.
He said that currently, there is one SRO covering more than 3,000 students between Mountain Vista High School and Mountain Ridge Middle School in Highlands Ranch. Now, school resource officers will be recommended to cover 1,000 students.
On the day of the school shooting, there was no SRO on duty at STEM School. Spurlock says it is time to take a step back and look at the size of the district and its safety needs.
Aside from school security, the money will also go toward mental health resources.
Federal data suggests the real crisis facing schools isn’t violence, but the lack of supportive staff to handle the mental health needs of students.
Approximately 72 percent of children in the U.S. will have experienced at least one major stressful event before the age of 18, whether it be witnessing violence, experiencing abuse or the loss of a loved one.
Some parents are unsure if $10 million is going to be enough to ensure student safety.
“It’s a great one-time thing, but this is an ongoing issue,” one mother said.
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