RIVERTON, Utah (KUTV) — Riverton City leaders, including Mayor Trent Staggs, held a meeting with school leaders to review their efforts to keep students safe in local schools.
The meeting, which was the second annual, was called School Safety Roundtable.
Staggs said, attendees reviewed the success of recent community events that focused on improving the emotional well-being of students which they say is a big part of school safety.
Riverton City leaders, including Mayor Trent Staggs, held a meeting with school leaders to review their efforts to keep students safe in local schools. (Photo: KUTV)
“The responsibility of the city is to ensure the health and safety of all our residents. That especially includes our student population,” he said.
Staggs said close of half of Riverton’s 45,000 residents are people under the age of 18.
Carolyn Gough, principal at Riverton High School said, while keeping the building safe and having a police presence at school is very important, safety is also about ensuring that kids avoid the emotional hurdles that impact their health and their performance at school.
“We are seeing unprecedented levels of student depression and anxiety. These are constant conversations,” she said.
Suicide is another concern.
Gough said she’s always working to create a school climate where students who need help through an emotional or social crisis, can reach out for help and get the services and support they need.
Since social media and technology are often a source of anxiety and distress for students, the school will unveil a program that encourages students to think more about the impact that technology has on their lives.
Gough said technology is an important tool for learning and her goal is not to get students to turn-off their phones.
She is glad to know that city-wide, Riverton leaders are talking more about student safety.
“We can’t do it ourselves. We have to have as many people as possible looking out for our kids,” she said.