Aspen schools not immune to violence |

Aspen schools not immune to violence

In light of the recent events in this country, we all need to ask ourselves: What is preventing a school shooting from happening here?

Hateful, insulting speech is very prevalent online and there is no doubt about it. It happens here. Every time there’s a school shooting, they find later on that there were some clues online. I will remind you it can happen here! We are just lucky it has not.

As every parent who has had kids at the schools know, we had to teach them about active shooters. We tried to do it in a non-evasive, non threatening way. Our slogan was “preparation without paranoia.”

We used the “I love you guys” foundation for our model. It was the standard response protocol and designed by John-Michael Keyes of Bailey, Colorado.

But, unfortunately, that didn’t seem to be the right way, because according to our Pitkin County sheriff, the SROs had just become a “good old boys club” up at the schools. Within one year the Aspen schools lost, in my opinion, three very dedicated SROs: Bruce Benjamin (elementary), Brian Stevens (middle school), and myself (high school). This was a shame because I know how much we cared about the student body in Aspen, as demonstrated by the hours and activities we participated in.

How safe are the kids when you replace over 50 years of experience in law enforcement with an emphasis in school safety with two officers with a combined total of less than eight years of law enforcement experience? Now is the time to pick up the torch on school violence!

Paul “Huff” Hufnagle

Snowmass Village