Colorado lawmakers considering standardizing school shooter drills

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DENVER -- On Tuesday, lawmakers met at the Colorado State Capitol for the second meeting of the new interim School Safety Committee.

Among the many items discussed, lawmakers are considering standardizing active shooter drills in Colorado schools. Currently, the drills vary from district to district.

"Is this possibly traumatizing our students?" state Sen. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) asked state officials.

"There is not a standard protocol for those drills but our schools are very cognizant that our drills could be trauma-inducing if they are not done carefully," Chris Harms, the director of the School Safety Resource Center, told lawmakers. "I think in this day and age, I think we can't not do drills because they might be upsetting because unfortunately, there might be an incident."

Lawmakers told FOX31 they are looking at whether drills can be too realistic -- and whether or not teachers return to class too quickly after a drill.

"I don't necessarily see mandating a specific drill but I do see recommending a specific drill," Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, chair of the Safety Committee, said.

Changing school safety procedures can be controversial. John McDonald, director of Public Safety for Jefferson County Schools, says it's important to not sugar coat the risk to students.

"The lockdown drill is the most important drill you'll do in your entire life," McDonald told FOX31.

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