State law requires the adoption of comprehensive gang prevention and intervention policies addressing multiple components.
Colorado Revised Statutes 22-1-120. Rights of free expression for public school students
(1) The general assembly declares that students of the public schools have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press, and no expression contained in a student publication, whether printed, broadcast, or online, and whether or not such publication is school-sponsored, is subject to prior restraint except for the types of expression described in subsection (3) of this section. An advisor may encourage expression consistent with high Standard of English and journalism. ...
(8) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the promulgation or enforcement of lawful school regulations designed to control gangs. For the purposes of this section, the definition of "gang" shall be the definition found in section 19-1-103 (52), C.R.S. ...
Colorado Revised Statutes 22-25-102. Legislative declaration
(1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that comprehensive health education is an essential element of public education in the state of Colorado. The school system is a logical vehicle for conveying to children and parents significant health information, developing an awareness of the value of good health to the individual and to the community, promoting healthy behavior and positive self-concepts, and providing means for dealing with peer and other pressures. It is further declared that many serious health problems in Colorado, including high-risk behaviors, are directly attributable to the insufficient health knowledge and motivation of the school-age population and the general public and that studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of a planned school curriculum throughout the elementary and secondary grades in developing healthy behavior. The purpose of this article is to foster healthy behaviors in our children and communities through a comprehensive educational plan which has as its goal not only the increase of health knowledge but also the modification of high-risk behaviors.
(2) Since the enactment of this article, the general assembly has further determined that the insidious attractions of gangs and substance abuse are endangering the youth of Colorado and, by doing so, are endangering all Colorado citizens. Accordingly, the general assembly finds and declares that the implementation of educational programs in the public schools, including facility schools, is necessary to assist young people in avoiding gang involvement and substance abuse. ...
Colorado Revised Statutes 22-25-104.5. Law-related education program - creation
(1) (a) There is hereby created, within the Colorado department of education prevention initiatives unit, the Colorado law-related education program for the purpose of promoting behavior which will reduce through education the incidence of gang or other antisocial behavior and substance abuse by students in the public school system.
- (b) Under the program, each school district and facility school in the state is strongly encouraged to implement a law-related education program pursuant to the requirements of this article, which program shall specifically address the development of resistance to antisocial gang behavior and substance abuse without compromising academics.
(2) (a) A law-related education program implemented by a school district or facility school may be designed to promote responsible citizenship and reduce antisocial behavior without compromising academics. Specific grade levels should be determined by school districts and facility schools based on local curricular frameworks and review of what is known about existing and promising programs. All topics addressed in such law-related education program shall be taught in a manner which is appropriate for the ages of the students to be instructed.
(b) The topics for instruction in a law-related education program shall include instruction on the United States constitution and the declaration of independence and may include, but need not be limited to, the following:
(I) The rights and responsibilities of citizenship;
(II) The foundations and principles of American constitutional democracy;
(III) The role of law in American society;
(IV) The organization and purpose of legal and political systems;
(V) The disposition to abide by law;
(VI) The opportunities for responsible participation;
(VII) The alternative dispute resolution approach including mediation and conflict resolution.
(c) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 372, § 25, effective April 10, 2000.)
(3) and (4) (Deleted by amendment, L. 99, p. 106, § 1, effective March 24, 1999.)
(5) (a) The state board shall promulgate guidelines to provide grants to and to assist school districts and facility schools in the implementation of effective, comprehensive law-related education programs addressing gang awareness and substance abuse resistance. Such guidelines shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(I) Suggested topics for instruction;
(II) Suggested texts and other instructional materials; and
(III) The necessary training for instructors.
(b) The state board shall make such guidelines available to all school districts and facility schools for use in implementing law-related education programs.
(c) The department of education, through the coordinator and staff of the prevention initiatives unit, shall be responsible for implementation, monitoring, and administration of the program and shall maintain certifications and records and act as a statewide clearinghouse for information and assistance for the law-related education programs.
(6) (a) All school districts and facility schools are encouraged to create programs for the training of instructors and administrators in gang awareness and substance abuse resistance education in order to provide effective instruction to students concerning the dangers of gang involvement and substance abuse.
- (b) Upon the request of school district officials, the state board shall assist school district officials in the preparation of plans for the creation by school districts of training programs for instructors and administrators in gang awareness and substance abuse resistance education.
(7) (a) Each school district and facility school may prepare an annual report concerning the progress of the school district or facility school in implementing a law-related education program. The report shall be filed with the state board on or before October 1 of each year.
- (b) Each annual report prepared pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (7) shall include, but shall not be limited to, an analysis by school district or facility school officials of the effect of the law-related education program on the incidence of gang involvement and substance abuse by the students in the school district or facility school.
Colorado Revised Statutes 22-32-109.1. Board of education - specific powers and duties - safe school plan - conduct and discipline code - safe school reporting requirements - school response framework - school resource officers - definitions - repeal
(a) Conduct and discipline code. (I) [Editor's note: This version of the introductory portion to subsection (2)(a)(I) is effective July 1, 2020.] A concisely written conduct and discipline code that shall be enforced uniformly, fairly, and consistently for all students. Copies of the code shall be provided to each student upon enrollment at the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school levels and shall be posted or kept on file at each public school in the school district. The school district shall take reasonable measures to ensure that each student of each public school in the school district is familiar with the code. The code shall include, but need not be limited to:
- (F) A specific policy concerning gang-related activities on school grounds, in school vehicles, and at school activities or sanctioned events;