DENVER — School safety usually focuses on preventing anything bad from happening. But we’re at a point where bad things seem to happen so often, legislators want teachers and staff to be prepared to save lives.
A bill in Colorado that would provide schools with materials and training to stop bleeding is one step closer to becoming law.
If saving lives is the goal, these Stop the Bleed kits are critical, but only once something has already gone terribly wrong.
"This investment is to help someone survive," said Rep. Mary Bradfield (R-Colorado Springs). "I certainly hope that they gather dust, that there’s never a need for them. I just want them to be there if there is a need."
Bradfield is one of the sponsors of the bill. She said the goal is to have the kits at the ready in case someone cuts themselves or falls down, or yes, if there’s a shooting.
"Whatever we can do for schools to keep students and staff safe and well, we are all in," Bradfield told 9NEWS.
Bradfield did not support the gun bills that passed earlier this year, which Democrats said would help prevent shootings before they even happen. Republicans have argued they would not make people safer.
Bradfield says the state should instead focus on making mental health help more accessible to help prevent more shootings.
"Second Amendment. The United States constitution and the Second Amendment," Bradfield said of why she didn't support the gun bills limiting access to firearms.
Bradfield says she has worked on committees addressing mental health solutions and giving people access to behavioral health help, which she said is where the focus should be in making schools safer.
The goal is for the Stop the Bleed kits to never be used. Think of them like AED kits that are in nearly every public building, just in case they are needed.
Many school districts across the state, from Greeley to Cherry Creek, already have these kits inside classrooms. It’s worth noting that thee kits add to the long list of things teachers are now responsible for, beyond actually teaching.
"It definitely intersects with school safety," said Rep. Mary Young (D-Greeley). "We are very familiar with CPR training and AED training, but not as familiar with Stop the Bleed."
Young also sponsored the bill but supported the gun laws passed earlier.
"I really do think we need to continue to look at common sense gun laws because that’s what students and families are asking for," said Young. "We’re not trying to violate anyone’s second amendment rights, but we have to have a whole compliment of things that will provide safety in schools."
These kits aren’t totally just for a mass shooting situation.
"Accidents happen. They’re unfortunate. And if the school has something that can help, then absolutely, use it," said Bradfield.
But it’s impossible not to think of them in the context of all of the shootings that we’ve seen recently at schools. In fact, this training was started in 2016 in the U.S. in response to active shooter situations.
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