DENVER (CBS4)– The father of the student shot and killed at Arapahoe High School cried before a committee investigating the missed opportunities to prevent the violence.
Claire Davis was shot to death by another student in December 2013. A recent report shows the school staff repeatedly failed to intervene with the young gunman before the shooting. Her parents fought for the information to be made public.
Claire’s parents told Littleton Public Schools that they wouldn’t sue as long as the school district released what they knew about her death.
Michael Davis said the reports are their gift, an effort to prevent what happened to Clair from happening again.
“We all have to continue to work together to help students who are struggling with problems that could lead them to hurt themselves or others,” said Michael Davis in front of the committee on Friday.
“After experiencing unimaginable hurt and harm with the loss of their daughter they could have easily recoiled and just walked away. In the name of their daughter they’ve given the State of Colorado a tremendous gift in her honor, an unprecedented amount of information and insight into the dynamic that goes on in our schools with our youth,” said Sen. Mark Scheffel, a Republican and head of the committee.
“This process is no longer about our precious daughter Claire nor is it about Karl Pierson, who we believe would have made very different choices if a helping hand had reached out from the system designed not to miss an opportunity to help him. This process is about the next student in crisis on the brink of hurting himself or others,” said Michael Davis.
Despite learning the school could have prevented Claire’s death, Michael Davis thanked the superintendent for acknowledging mistakes and publicly apologizing. He also thanked the principal of Arapahoe High School.
“Her willingness and eagerness to make changes to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening in her school again,” said Michael Davis. “It’s our hope that policy makers and school officials focus on ways to best implement common recommendations in these reports and not allow polarizing to bring inaction. Our kids in Colorado deserve that from us.”
The Colorado Safe-To-Tell program also received a boost at the hearing. One of Claire’s friends raised $1,200 for the nonprofit which runs an anonymous tip line for students.