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Students learn the tough path to solutions during Democracy Day

St. Vrain high schoolers hear from community leaders and propose solutions for difficult issues

Students proposed their own solutions to tough issues facing Longmont and local schools on Thursday.

The annual Doing Democracy Day invites students from across the St. Vrain Valley School District to explore local issues, which this year included homelessness, screen addiction, fentanyl, social emotional learning, recreation and school safety/resource officers.

At the Longmont Museum, students interviewed community leaders on their specific topics before creating presentations with proposed solutions, which they then presented to community judges. The top three presentations then went on to the finals for a winner to be selected.

The top three presentations this year took on tough issues first hand, looking at social-emotional learning, school resource officers and how to spend the Denver Broncos sales money allocated to the city for youth services.

Students used interviews, research and their own personal experiences to discuss these hard topics.

The first group of finalists recommended the best use of the Broncos money, which they referred to as the “Broncos bucks,” would be an expansion of the Longmont Museum.

“By further benefiting this museum in specific, it could be something that can be passed on through generations and leave an impact further than just the one millions dollars that was given through the Broncos bucks,” student Aurora Dallocchio summarized.

Another group of finalists spoke to school resource officers, arguing that St. Vrain should continue utilizing them at the schools to promote student safety. They added that officers should be the right fit for the school they are serving and be educated against biases.

“The pros outweigh the cons because SROs add much needed support to high school and middle school students,” student Ellery Fischaber said. “With the right training and the right SROs, they can have a very positive effect on the community.”

The winning group included students Echo Bostic, Peyton Siders, Marharyta Yasinska and Cori Bouck, who discussed the importance of increasing social emotional learning at schools. All members spoke to the importance of more mental health solutions for students, and argued for its expansion in schools.

“There’s needs to be more people as a support system in our schools,” Bouck said. “Our schools need to feel more safe so that (mental health) can be talked about.”