Protecting A Safe Environment: Grandview’s Efforts to Prevent Gun Violence

April 18, 2023

In the United States, gun violence is the leading cause of death for kids, and it affects communities around our country every day. Here in the Cherry Creek School District, there are people working to protect and prevent gun violence from happening in our schools.

Gun violence is, I think that’s probably a pretty broad spectrum,” CCSD Director of Safety & Security, Ian Lopez said. “I think it’s every time threatening violence is perpetrated with either the use of a firearm or the threatening use of a firearm.”

Going to school every day is a risk. Not knowing what will happen, not knowing you’ll be protected, and not knowing what’s going to happen next. 

“No matter how [much effort] we try to put into preventing things from happening there’s always a chance that something still could happen,” Lopez said.

Sadly, gun violence is a recurring theme in the United States. And though we can’t take every single procedure into consideration, gun violence is something that is not completely unavoidable. 

“There’s so many things about gun violence that factor in that schools can’t control them all,” Lopez said. “But we try to do our part to start recognizing things we can do to try help control kids [to] stay out of that area psychologically where they feel like they would want to perpetrate someone with gun violence.”

Gun violence isn’t just affecting schools, but events and communities across America.

“You see it happening at churches, schools, concerts, and pretty much anywhere so I don’t think any of us can truly guarantee that we’re going to prohibit it somewhere,” Principal Dr. Roberts said. 

Grandview is taking steps to try and prevent gun violence from ever occurring at our school and other schools in the district. 

“We try to put preventative measures in place with the locking of doors and security guards and making sure that people have to go through a process before they can come into the school,” Dr. Roberts said. 

One particular to prevent gun violence from happening is lockdown drills.

“The first thing that we would do probably [if there] was a gun on campus we would go in lockdown to make sure everybody’s safe and secure,” Dr. Roberts said.  

Since 2009, there have been eight school shootings in Mexico, two in Brazil, and two in France. In the United States, there have been over 288

“A lot of what it has to do with is a gun-heavy culture and there’s a lot of weapons just in the United States,” Lopez said.

Grandview also has set procedures in place to determine whether a threat is credible or not.

“We always work with local law enforcement. But we look at the cameras, we talk to students, we do a full investigation,” Dr. Roberts said. “Then again we work with law enforcement and then they help us determine if they feel like it wasn’t credible.”

There are also several practiced procedures that help to address a threat if an emergency were to occur. 

“We would want to try to isolate that person or persons from the rest of the student body [if] something were to happen, and they were to use [a gun], we would limit their access to any other folks,” Lopez said.

Shootings make kids nervous, it’s the plain truth. You see acts of gun violence being plastered all over the news and it’s a scary thing that we’re seeing a lot of these days. School should be a safe place and that’s why many people at Grandview are doing everything in their power to prevent gun violence from occurring inside our school walls. 

“I mean safety is our number one priority. We think about it all the time,” Dr. Roberts said. “You should always feel safe at school and able to just come here and learn.”


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