Meeker BOE discusses threat assessment, suicide assessment and other pressing matters

MEEKER | The Meeker BOE met Monday to discuss several pressing matters.

A major area of concern was the further discussion of the Student Threat Assessment Policy. “The term ‘threat’ may include verbal, written, or non-verbal communications or gestures,” the policy reads. “Threats may be direct, indirect, conditional or veiled” and can “be communicated in person, electronically, through a third party or by other intentional or unintentional means.”

It’s all about school safety. “Staff members who have completed threat assessment training will investigate reports of or evidence regarding student behavior on or off school grounds that is perceived as a possible threat to commit an ‘incident of school violence’ as defined in the Claire Davis School Safety Act, C.R.S. 24-10-106.3.”

A primary emphasis added to previous discussions was, “At the discretion of the threat assessment team, law enforcement shall be contacted at some point during the threat assessment.”

With Colorado’s teenage suicide rate at nearly twice the national average—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—it is highly significant that the Meeker BOE is discussing its own suicide assessment policy. While there are two counselors who have gone through some assessment training, the board feels an official policy is needed for legal reasons.

Also briefly discussed was a follow-up on the “vaping” issue. Board members were given three educational documents from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The “Myths vs. Facts” sheet, for example, greatly helps in clearing the air concerning this critical issue.

Also on the agenda was a report on the status of the bond campaign—Ballot Issue 4A—by Bond Committee Chairperson Trina Zagar-Brown.

While the Sept. 28 weekend was the “kick-off weekend” of making people aware of the issue, “this weekend (of homecoming) will be the big push,” she said. The committee will have a presence at events such as the barbecue, the football game and the walk-a-thon.

Also discussed were the two bids submitted by contractors to install a new septic tank at the bus garage. The need arose because of a crack in the existing tank that causes it to fill with ground water.

There was an almost $5,300 price difference between the two bids, although the higher bid was much more detailed. The board decided to get further clarification from the lower bidder before making the final decision on which bid to accept. That decision was scheduled for the Oct. 22 meeting.

Finally, depending on whether Ballot Issue 4A passes, there was preliminary discussion concerning which construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) will be chosen for the project. Three firms will be interviewed on Oct. 17.


By DOC WATSON | Special to the Herald Times