STAFF EDITORIAL – Administration’s Failure to Communicate with Students Promotes a Problem within the School Community

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STAFF EDITORIAL – Administration’s Failure to Communicate with Students Promotes a Problem within the School Community

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The Fairview High School administration must change the way it handles sensitive and challenging topics in order to allow for communication between staff and the student body, as inaction poses a risk to the entire community.

On Wednesday, April 17, a threat to BVSD prompted a school closure. Just two days later, our community was shattered by the tragic death of a member of the sophomore class. On Monday, April 22, another threat reported to Safe2Tell prompted the Boulder Police Department to investigate areas of the school. Our administration ultimately failed in its role in each of these cases. The administration did not communicate with the student body and did not effectively put in place the proper resources to help students who needed, and still need, help through experiences no one should ever have to face.

This past Wednesday, students were told school would be closed because of a potential danger to Boulder Valley School District. A woman who suffered from mental health issues had flown to Colorado and purchased a shotgun, potentially posing a danger to our school. The following day, no communication with the student body was initiated. If students wanted help from admin they had to actively look for it, when it should have been the other way around.

On Friday, a Fairview Knight took his own life. After talking with the family of the student, the school administration opted not to notify any students: there was no announcement, no letter read to the student body, no message delivered by the trusted adults at our school. An email was sent out to Fairview parents, but this did not ensure students got the information. Fairview students were left to figure out what happened on their own or, in isolated cases, be told in class by a teacher or counselor.

According to a faculty member, the excuse given for this lack of communication was two-fold. First, administration officials believed that most students would have been informed by parents or guardians the day before. Secondly, the administration believed that enough students would have seen the terrible news on social media so the story would spread. They were wrong.

It was left up to staff members to decide whether or not to bring up the tragic events of the past Wednesday, Friday and Monday. Some made the choice to do so, many did not. The fact that it was up to educators to introduce these subjects is cause for great concern. Admin has missed several opportunities to improve the dialogue around mental health. The Royal Banner asks the faculty, why did you choose not to tell us?

We recognize that issues such as the stigma of suicide and mental health are difficult subjects to breach. These concepts are hard to confront. It’s not easy to talk about these subjects, but it is necessary. Our school administration owes it to the student body to effectively communicate and see the Fairview community through hardship and tragedy. Addressing these issues now, instead of hiding them from our school, will help the people who our school officials hold a responsibility towards, the students.

And to all the students struggling, grieving and experiencing the trauma of these events, the pain will pass and your life is worth so much more. We are here for you.

If any student needs help or assistance with this or any other issue, they can contact Safe2Tell(safe2tell.org) or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline(suicidepreventionlifeline.org).