How We Do It
When The "I Love U Guys" Foundation first formed in 2006, the commitment was in part to help other organizations in support of the mission. We also funded a modest scholarship
program for Platte Canyon High School graduates. During that time, school safety became an ongoing interest.
the Foundation collaborated with schools and first responders to create the Standard Response Protocol
and began an outreach program to show schools and first responders how it works. The results have been simply astonishing - millions of students; hundreds of thousands of educators, administrators and school staff; and tens of thousands of first responders. All using the same language, same training, same expectations of behavior during a crisis.
the Foundation launched an awareness campaign talking to teens about the tough topic sexting
. Behind the scenes, we spoke with District Attorneys and Prosecutors about sane intervention, without lifelong sex offender status.
research indicated that there was another gap in the spectrum of school safety. Few schools had a plan to reunify students with parents after a crisis while maintaining accountability and accommodating mental health demands. Again, collaboration and research resulted in the Standard Reunification Method.
With a combination of in-house talent, a dedicated board of directors, tireless volunteers, and strong collaboration, the Foundation developed these programs at a fraction of traditional costs.
It's not enough to have strong programs. Districts, departments and agencies have to know about them. Have to be motivated to implement them. And have the training to do it.
And motivation is the key. Anyone who has worked in institutional environments knows that it isn't enough to say something should be done. Motivated people need to do it. And they need the tools to succeed.
Top Down or Bottom Up?
When the Foundation developed the SRP to address the lack of common language between students, teachers and first responders it was debated how best to introduce it. Of course we would not mind if some government entity comes along, adopts and mandates the program, but without first proving its effectiveness we knew it would be an uphill climb to take this approach.
We also knew that several Colorado schools were already working on or had pieces of critical incident response in their safety plans, so we talked with them directly. When Jefferson County School District became the first to adopt the SRP in 2009 we knew we made the right choice to take a more grass-roots approach, talking with individual schools or districts about our programs, letting their success speaks for itself.