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LTE: What else can we do to keep our children safe?

"We all have a role to play and it is time that we all step up and change the culture of our society."

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This letter to the editor was written on April 5 but was not sent to the Longmont Leader until April 29.

Don Haddad and SVVSD Administration, Longmont Government and Elected Officials, and Parents,

In the past few weeks I have seen reports of multiple school shootings; which, unfortunately, is more common nowadays. I had a child near the shooting by Hobby Lobby and just this past week we saw a secure status with a controlled release from Skyline High School.

I am reaching out to everyone because I am not okay with what we have come to accept as normal. Our children deserve better and we are the ones that need to step up to make it better. Our children have a right; especially, in the United States of America to feel safe and not live in fear.

Students and parents should not feel that there is a lack of transparency of information and a lack of resources to help our children.

Don and SVVSD Administration,

Students have learned to be hyper-aware of their surroundings every day; all while you expect them to do their best. You tell students to use Safe2Tell but I have heard from several students how they feel nothing is done when they have reported something and even parents can’t easily get a straight answer to be able to reassure them.

You do not make information easy to access or forthcoming. You seem to be selective in what we are allowed to know and not know and you expect us to trust you when we never seem to get factual information. Ultimately we are left to question what is really happening at our schools.

You say you don’t want to cause rumors, panic or chaos but lack of communication causes all of that. Although I am grateful for when action is taken, it is hard to feel at ease when we never are told anything beyond the standard copy-and-paste email. What can be done so that when events occur we are all well informed?

I have read the handbook and know that you state bullying is not accepted and you have a zero-tolerance policy for it; however, we all know that is very far from the case. Bullying affects the mental health of our children and more needs to be done about it. You can not act shocked when a student reaches their breaking point because of bullying. And, seeing how bullying is not technically a crime the police can not step in until it becomes criminal and turns into harassment; which is a bit too late sometimes.

What can be done to stop and deter bullying?

Longmont Government and Elected Officials,

You have so much more power than any of us “everyday people” and yet you haven’t figured out how to use it to save our children. This shouldn’t be a right or a left political issue. This should be a human right issue and everyone should be working together to reach the same goal.

There are many layers to this problem and we can’t just address one at a time; we must address the bigger picture as a whole. What if we addressed mental health and the lack of resources and qualified people to help our children?

A parent should not be told there is a 3-6 month waiting list for new patients from multiple places. It should not take something bad happening to finally get to the right people that can help. There is a huge lack of mental health support and resources in Longmont. It would be amazing if we could, not only get, but retain enough qualified mental health experts to help make a difference. It should not be this hard to get help!

You, our elected officials, are the ones that need to step up and help solve these problems.


We have to talk to our children! No matter how busy life is; we have to find time to get to know our children. Get to know their friends, their interests, their concerns and their dreams.

We have to be willing to talk to them about everything; sometimes even regardless of our own feelings on certain matters, because society will take their ignorance and naiveness on topics and turn it into a weakness to exploit them with. We have to talk to our children about mental health and teach them that there are ways to work through our feelings without violence. We have to be willing to get our children help when they need it no matter what that takes.

We have to stop teaching our children to hate and judge others. We are all people in the human race and we must teach our children acceptance. We must remember that acceptance and agreement are two different things that don't always go hand in hand. Just because we accept someone for who they are does not mean we have to agree with their choices.

We need to be a trusted adult for our children to turn to and rely on. How are we supposed to see the red flags in our children if we are not involved in their lives? We all have a role to play and it is time that we all step up and change the culture of our society.

So I ask you today…

Don and SVVSD Administration, what are you going to do to improve communication and create a safer school environment?

Longmont Government and Elected Officials, what are you going to do about our mental health crisis and the violence we see so regularly?

Parents, what are you going to do to be actively involved in your children’s lives and open more lines of communication?


Kim Crossland Longmont Mother of 4