PHOTOS: Mitchell Marauders (7) Falcon High School Falcons (41)

The Mitchell Marauders (7) host the Falcon High School Falcons (41) in a conference football game on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019.

School districts in Colorado Springs have measures in place to keep students safe and to prevent hazing and harassment issues like the ones that allegedly  took place at Falcon High School.

 

The city's schools appear to have a unified approach. 

Districts 20, 11 and 3 all shared the same sentiment: People who will work around students and faculty will undergo extensive background checks. 

The steps can slightly differ. 

According to D11's  hiring codes, schools and administrations put every prospective employee through both a background check and fingerprint check. They are run through law databases to ensure the safety of employees with students. The chief communications officer for D11, Devra Ashby, emailed The Gazette the hiring codes but declined further comment.

Andy Parks, Rampart's athletic director, said that all coaches and workers in D20, even for small duties, get background checks. They're also required to provide three references, which are called before employment starts.

The goal of the districts is to mitigate risk. No overseer at a school can ensure problems will never arise, but they can at least take away glaring risks, officials said. 

"I can't imagine why any district wouldn't do the same," Parks said. "Every single person who comes near the kids of our district on a regular basis needs to be checked first.

"The student and faculty's safety is most important." 

Districts 2 and 8 didn't return calls seeking comment.

Parks said he believes that no school can operate at its safest without vetting people first. He also stated a belief in a simple, no-strike policy. 

Many jobs give chances for mistakes, but there's no room, according to Parks, in letting problems off with a warning -- not when the peace-of-mind of the school's members is at risk. 

The building, classrooms and athletic facilities, including locker rooms, can only be safe if the people who are in them are trustworthy -- though, the locker rooms are seldom a place adults and students cohabitate. 

Falcon High School chose to support students who weren't involved, and give them an opportunity to continue playing under an interim coach and staff. 

For now, other districts and administrations are hoping the bridge isn't one they'll have to cross.