school safety

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The Campbell County School district is considering a conceal and carry policy for teachers. It's hosting listening sessions to provide information and get a public response.

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The Gillette teen who is accused of planning to shoot several teachers and students at his is school pleaded not guilty to nine counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Thursday is the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. More than a hundred state-level gun laws have been enacted since then, including several in the Mountain West. 

Wyoming Legislature

Speaker of the House Steve Harshman convinced the House to take another step towards school safety.

Tennessee Watson


For years Wyoming lawmakers have been grappling with how to ensure kids are safe at school. In 2009 they passed anti-bullying legislation. Last year they granted districts the right to decide whether to arm teachers and staff as a defense against violent intruders.

This session school violence is once again on the docket. Senate File 64  School Safety and Security passed out of the Senate this week and is now being considered by the House. The legislation would require all districts to develop comprehensive school safety and security plans.

Wyoming Public Radio's education reporter Tennessee Watson sat down with Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis to discuss why she thinks this legislation is needed.

screenshot from Will Caldwell's video on Vimeo

While many school districts across the state already create safety and security plans, there's nothing currently in statute requiring them to do so. A school safety and security bill moving through the state legislature would make such plans mandatory.

Uinta County School District #1

Uinta County School District #1 is once again discussing whether to allow teachers and staff to carry guns in schools.

The conversation about school safety has largely focused on defending students from a violent attack. That can mean installing new locks and bulletproof glass, but it can also mean creating a different kind of culture. TCSD Kind is a yearlong initiative of the Teton County School District #1 focused on providing safe, healthy and caring communities at all its schools.

Safe2Tell Wyoming

Wyoming's Safe2Tell program has received over 1,500 tips from students since its implementation two years ago.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming Legislature is moving forward on policy that would require all schools to engage in training and create safety plans in the event of a violent intruder. The bill crafted by Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis was approved by the legislature's joint education committee nine to four.

Brett Levin / www.flickr.com/photos/scubabrett22/6153306342

Educators, district administrators, law enforcement and public officials from across the state came together for a summit in Cheyenne Wednesday to discuss school safety.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

President Trump's Commission on School Safety conducted a listening session Tuesday in Cheyenne to gather input from the Mountain West region. Educators, officials and students came from states across the region, as far as Albuquerque, to share diverse perspectives before the commission.

The Federal Commission on School Safety will make a stop in Cheyenne for a public listening session. This is one of four sessions happening across the country to gather views on how to make schools safer. Similar events have already happened in Washington, DC and Lexington, Kentucky.

Images from WDE. Layout by Tennessee Watson

Before kids go back to school, state officials and educators will gather in Cheyenne to discuss how to make schools safer. The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is hosting a School Safety Summit on August 8.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

Uinta County School District #1 passed a policy in March that allows staff to carry guns in schools as a safety measure. But at this week’s meeting, the board was presented with a petition calling for a halt to implementation of the policy, which is currently set to take effect in July.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

On the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High school shooting, students at Laramie High School joined young people across the country who walked out to make their voices heard on gun reform.  

Katie Kvenild was the first student in her 9th grade biology to stand up and head towards the door for the 10 am walk out. She said despite her strong commitment to her beliefs, she was still nervous.

Snapchat

The Powell police department said it received a report that some middle school-aged students were discussing shooting up schools on the social media app Snapchat over the weekend.

Law enforcement notified Powell Middle School administrators, and on district superintendent, Jay Curtis sent a press release to parents and teachers. He said, “action has been taken, the threat has been averted.”

This Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people are expected at rallies for gun control across the country. And no one is speaking louder than those who inspired the rallies and who feel they have the most at stake: teens.

Cortney Borer in Centennial, Wyoming.
Maggie Mullen

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of teens are expected to march on Washington D.C. and around the country, calling for gun control. The Mountain West News Bureau spoke with two students in Montana and Wyoming who do not plan to march, and are worried gun control reform could change their way of life.

Tennessee Watson

Students across Wyoming participated Wednesday in the #NationalSchoolWalkout movement. At Central High in Cheyenne, over 200 students gathered at 10 a.m., occupying the school’s commons for 17 minutes;  one minute for each student who died in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month.

Screenshot from the UCSD#1 Board YouTube

Uinta County School District #1 voted late Tuesday evening to put guns in the hands of teachers and staff. The district is the first in Wyoming to act on legislation passed last year to let local school districts decide whether to permit concealed carry in schools.

Wyoming Department of Education

Following the recent shootings in Florida and Kentucky, educators and policymakers across the country are asking questions about school safety and security. Last year Wyoming’s state legislature made it possible for local school boards to decide as a community whether or not to arm trained staff.

What’s the best way to keep schools safe from violence?

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 Lawmakers are taking another crack at putting a new safety tip line in place for Wyoming schools.  

The Joint Education Interim Committee moved Thursday to draft legislation to create the Safe2Tell tip line, which would be modeled after a system developed in Colorado in the wake of Columbine.

Both the Wyoming House and Senate passed a similar bill in this year’s session, but it failed to become law when the two chambers couldn’t agree on amendments.

Aaron Schrank

After the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, schools nationwide increased focus on security. Hundreds of school safety bills were proposed in state houses across the country. Spending on security systems skyrocketed. Wyoming was no exception. Just a few months after Newtown, Governor Matt Mead launched a task force to look at the safety and security of Wyoming’s schools and recommend improvements. More than a year later, Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank reports on where that effort stands.