Michael Davis lost his daughter, Claire, in a shooting at Arapahoe High School on Dec. 13, 2013. Here are comments he made to the state School Safety and Youth in Crisis Committee, which he and his wife, Desiree, helped create through legislation. On Jan. 22, the committee reviewed three separate reports developed through an arbitration agreement between the Davises and Littleton Public Schools.
He thanked, among other, the committee, the researchers and district and school staff. He followed with the following comments:
"These reports show that now, more than ever before, schools play a crucial role in identifying troubled students and directing them to the resources they need to receive help. All school districts, not just Littleton Public Schools, must be held accountable for carrying out this responsibility, and successful change will not be found in placing blame, pointing fingers at individuals, making excuses or making schools less tolerant and more punitive. Successful change in helping kids in crisis will only be realized when all schools embrace the recommendations in these reports in a mindful, caring, professional and prompt manner.
Going through the arbitration process was our gift to the state of Colorado, but this process is no longer about our precious daughter Claire, who we will miss until the end of our days, nor is it about Karl Pierson, a teenager in crisis who we believe would have made very different choices if a helping hand had reached out from a system designed to not miss the opportunities to help him. This process is now about the next student in crisis who is on the brink of hurting themselves or others. It's about implementing meaningful changes that will help identify those kids early and intervene with positive support to prevent the next tragedy.
Now is the time for parents of public school students across the state to let their voice be heard. Now is the time for school administrators and state legislators to take the recommendations in these reports and implement them, to put into practice the things we've learned from past tragedies so that all of our children are safe from harm in our public schools.