Dear TPCA Community,
On Thursday evening the BOD authorized TPCA to begin implementation of C.R.S. 18-12-214. (b) A permittee who is employed or retained by contract by a school district or charter school as a school security officer may carry a concealed handgun onto the real property, or into any improvement erected thereon, of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school while the permittee is on duty; The law in its entirety is below. I want to be very clear that this action was part of ongoing discussions over the last several years as we continue to add additional layers to our school security. I want to be as transparent and honest with you as possible, while at the same time keeping some of our protocols private in the unlikely event a “bad” actor is studying what TPCA does to protect your children on a daily basis.
Layered Approach to School Security
A layered approach has many components. Some we are doing now, some in the immediate and short term future, and some are in our long range plans.
Annual Training Standard Response Protocol
The entire TPCA Staff trains annually regarding many facets of student safety.
Enhanced Training Enhanced Active Shooter Training
We have done enhanced internal training, next year we are contracting with TAC ONE Consulting for a more significant training component before school begins.
Monthly Safety Drills
TPCA exceeds the requirement for drills, and we take them seriously.
This is another area of balance, treat safety seriously, while at the same time we do not want to cause unease with our students by over training.
The most important thing we do well, is knowing our students, and working with parents. We are trained in the threat assessment process, we have students on safety plans, and we are parents with Colorado’s Safe 2 Tell Program.
We routinely monitor all doors and ensure they are secure throughout the day.
Bond 24 - SVVSD will be proposing a Bond Election next year. We will have a number of requests. At the top of the list are more safety requests:
All of our doors need replaced/upgraded
Elementary and Secondary vestibule upgraded
Enhanced Entry Systems
TPCA has clear entry process for visitors.
TPCA upgraded our internal and external camera system with the last bond.
Numerous staff members take have 1st Aid training, which we recertify annually.
Police and Fire Relationship - Calling 911
Being located in the heart of Longmont gives TPCA very quick response times. We have a great partnership with Longmont’s first responders. Our staff knows and are told twice a year during our annul training that they can call 911 at any time. I state unequivocally that I would rather have help that is not needed then waste precious minutes when it is!
As directed by the Board of Directors, I will begin to implement an internal School Security Officer Program (more information below).
Campus Supervisors, Armed Third Party Security and School Resource Officers
All of these positions are possible and may be added as resources and partnerships permit.
18-12-214. Authority granted by permit - carrying restrictions - local authority.
(a) A permit to carry a concealed handgun authorizes the permittee to carry a concealed handgun in all areas of the state, except as specifically limited in this section. A permit does not authorize the permittee to use a handgun in a manner that would violate a provision of state law.
(b) A peace officer may temporarily disarm a permittee, incident to a lawful stop of the permittee. The peace officer shall return the handgun to the permittee prior to discharging the permittee from the scene.
(I) A local government, including a special district, or the governing board of an institution of higher education, including the board of directors of the Auraria higher education center, may enact an ordinance, resolution, rule, or other regulation that prohibits a permittee from carrying a concealed handgun in a building or specific area within the local government’s or governing board’s jurisdiction, or for a special district, in a building or specific area under the direct control or management of the district, including a building or facility managed pursuant to an agreement between the district and a contractor. An ordinance, resolution, or other regulation prohibiting a permittee from carrying a concealed handgun may only impose a civil penalty for a violation and require the person to leave the premises. For a first offense, the ordinance, resolution, or other regulation may not impose a fine that exceeds fifty dollars and may not impose a sentence of incarceration. A person who does not leave the premises when required may be subject to criminal penalties.
(II) If a local government or governing board prohibits carrying a concealed handgun in a building or specific area, the local government or governing board shall post signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited in the building or specific area. The notice required by this section may be included on a sign describing open carry restrictions posted in accordance with section 29-11.7-104.
(2) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun into a place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.
(2.5) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun into a place where the carrying of concealed handguns is prohibited by a local ordinance, resolution, rule, or other regulation.
(3) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun onto the real property, or into any improvements erected thereon, of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school; except that:
(a) A permittee may have a handgun on the real property of the public school so long as the handgun remains in his or her vehicle and, if the permittee is not in the vehicle, the handgun is in a compartment within the vehicle and the vehicle is locked;
(b) A permittee who is employed or retained by contract by a school district or charter school as a school security officer may carry a concealed handgun onto the real property, or into any improvement erected thereon, of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school while the permittee is on duty;
(c) A permittee may carry a concealed handgun on undeveloped real property owned by a school district that is used for hunting or other shooting sports.
(3.5) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun onto the real property, or into any improvements erected thereon, of a public college or university if the carrying of concealed handguns is prohibited by the governing board of the college or university.
(4) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun into a public building at which:
(a) Security personnel and electronic weapons screening devices are permanently in place at each entrance to the building;
(b) Security personnel electronically screen each person who enters the building to determine whether the person is carrying a weapon of any kind; and
(c) Security personnel require each person who is carrying a weapon of any kind to leave the weapon in possession of security personnel while the person is in the building.
(5) Nothing in this part 2 shall be construed to limit, restrict, or prohibit in any manner the existing rights of a private property owner, private tenant, private employer, or private business entity.
(6) The provisions of this section apply to temporary emergency permits issued pursuant to section 18-12-209.
Supplement To Employee Handbook - Job Description: School Security Officer Designee
Implementing and adding this element of School Security will be a process. It will take some time. However, our leadership team has been discussing this for several years. Right now applicants will apply and go through a rigorous process. When we go “live” we will not share who is a designated School Security Officer, nor the number with our community.
To apply and be accepted as a School Security Officer the applicant must at a minimum:
Be an employee of Twin Peaks Classical Academy
Be hired with a Memorandum of Understanding as School Security Guard
Employee will provide their own equipment and pay for permitting, training, upkeep, etc.
Have a valid and current Concealed Handgun Permit
Attend and pass a rigorous Active Shooter Training Program approved by the Executive Director
Attend regular supplemental training approved by the Executive Director
Signage & Deterrence
Below is an initial draft. Implementing C.R.S. 18-12-214 and placing signage on each door will provide visible deterrence.
In accordance with C.R.S.18-12-214 the TPCA Board of Directors has designated the Executive Director to implement the following law:
(b) A permittee who is employed or retained by contract by a school district or charter school as a school security officer may carry a
onto the real property, or into any improvement erected thereon, of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school while the permittee is on duty;
What can you do as a TPCA Community member?
I believe there are two immediate tasks that the TPCA community can do to continue to make TPCA a great school and the safest school in our area. There is an upcoming task that is very important for our school to be aware of as well.
Support us in the overall community, whether in conversation or social media.
Help spread the word about the special place TPCA is in Northern Colorado.
Be prepared for the 2024 Bond Election and participation on SVVSD planning meetings. Our community is stronger with greater representation.
Money is not the answer to all problems, but like any business, it is part of the equation.
The TPCA Staff & Faculty recognize our role in doing the best we can to ensure your student’s safety and health. In moments of crisis, our staff are prepared to do whatever it takes to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. In any occasion, the amazing adults at TPCA will respond professionally and quickly. In the unlikely event that the unthinkable happens, I am convinced that more of us than you can possibly imagine will place ourselves between danger and your child. Our board of directors and C.R.S.18-12-214 allows Twin Peaks the opportunity to provide an additional level of security that no other school in our area is able to provide.
As usual, please do hesitate to contact me.
Joseph R. Mehsling
Twin Peaks Classical Academy