Last Tuesday, 17-year-old Mallory Haulman was stabbed in the neck as she walked into the halls of Montrose High School. Now, a week later, school officials say they're working with students, parents, and the community to make sure such an attack doesn't happen again.
Monday night, Montrose High School hosted its second meeting on school safety. Officials brought in Susan Payne, a special agent with the Department of Public Safety, to discuss the Safe 2 Tell program she helped start, which Montrose High School is currently implementing.
The program is designed to train students, faculty, and parents on what to do if someone finds out about a potential attack on a school and how to report it. Colorado has an anonymous Safe 2 Tell tipline in place that can be called 24 / 7 at 1-877-542-SAFE (7233). Officials say all calls that come in are investigated. They credit Safe 2 Tell with preventing 28 planned school attacks in Colorado, most of which have resulted in weapon recovery, or finding written plans of an attack.
While many parents have brought up the issue of adding metal dectors at Montrose High School, Special Agent Payne says it's programs and resources like Safe 2 Tell that research shows are most effective in stopping school attacks
"Metal detectors from a research perspective aren't always the best use of dollars in keeping a safe environment," said Agent Payne. "Addressing and making sure that we're educating our staff, providing additional training and resources might be the most effective use of our dollars."
School officials say in addition to the new training, the beefed up security measures they put into place last week will stay in place for some time, including more police presence, more supervision in school hallways, and more staff manning school entrances.
Officials say they continue to take comments or suggestions from students, parents, and the community on their existing procedures and what could be done to improve them. They are working to compile that input and will release a report to the community in the coming weeks.
"We want to basically look towards the future," said Jill Myers, principal of Montrose High School. "We don't want to dwell on what's happened at this point. We want to see what do we have in place, what do we need to tweek to make better, and how can we improve?"
Students at the meeting tell 11 News that Haulman was back in school Monday. Police say they have two 14-year-olds in custody in connection with the attack.