CMS statement on school shootings in Denver, CO

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) sends deep condolences and sympathies to the families, friends and loved ones of yesterday's school shooting victims in Denver, CO.

Once again, lives have again been taken away and forever damaged on the campus of one of our nation's schools. CMS once more calls on leaders to support the emotional and mental health needs of students and to take action to prevent gun violence in schools.

The CMS Circle of Safety

CMS is working internally and in partnership with local law enforcement, city, county and state leaders to protect the safety of students and staff in Charlotte-Mecklenburg through a variety of measures, including:

  • If you "see something, say something" to staff or law enforcement.
  • Increased support for student mental health, including additional counselors, psychologists and social workers.
  • Lockdown drills in all schools at least two times each year.
  • Active survival training in schools and CMS facilities.
  • Safety screenings to help keep weapons out of schools.
  • Expanded video surveillance for better monitoring and response times.
  • Crisis alert systems so help arrives faster.
  • Enhanced locks and technologies to control school access.
  • A dedicated CMS crisis response director.
  • Faster and more frequent crisis communications.
  • Deeper social media monitoring and partnership with law enforcement.
  • Fencing and gates to control campus access.
  • Review and updates of individual school safety and security plans.

Reach out for support

Supports are available to CMS students, families, staff and community members to help in times of mental and emotional need.

Student support - If any student wants to talk reach out to any school staff member right away. Support for students is available through counselors, psychologists and social workers on campus.

Family support - Families are encouraged to talk to students and to stay in close contact with them. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends the following ways to talk with young people about traumatic incidents:

  • Create a sense of safety by returning to normal, predictable routines as soon as possible.
  • Listen to their concerns and feelings.
  • Suggest students limit their use of media to lower their stress and to maintain balance and perspective.
  • Realize that sleep difficulties are common and can lead to fatigue and poor participation.

A guide to talking to children about violence is below in English and Spanish. More resources from NASP for support of students after traumatic events are available on the NASP website.

Talking to Children About Violence Guide - English
Talking to Children About Violence Guide - Español

CMS staff support - CMS staff and family members have access to confidential counseling through the LifeCare Employee Assistance Program, available day or night at 1-866-592-7240. Additional support and resources are available at the LifeCare website.

Community support - Anyone in need of support and help can use free resources available to the community, including:

  • The Mecklenburg County 24-hour Crisis Line (FREE) 1-800-939-5911
  • Mobile Crisis 704-566-3410 Option 1 (FREE service at your location)

CMS stands in support of the Denver, CO community in this time of need as we extend our heartfelt sympathies to everyone affected by yesterday's violent events.

CMS thanks everyone in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community for their help in keeping our students, staff, families and schools safe.