Colorado bills would study school violence, allow victims to sue schools

DENVER - Colorado lawmakers introduced two bills on Friday that would allow victims of school shootings to sue the school for damages and create a study committee to examine student violence.

The proposals being introduced in the Senate Friday are a response to the 2013 shooting death of Claire Davis, an Arapahoe High School student. But Colorado has been the site of other notorious school shootings, including the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

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One bill would waive the state's governmental immunity to allow lawsuits against schools. If passed, the law would apply retroactively to allow Davis' parents to sue, but not victims of prior school shootings.

"It's going to provide accountability. Accountability to provide information, accountability to provide facts, accountability to require some discovery that has to be provided in a court case which in many instances has not been required at this point," said Republican Senate President Bill Cadman.

Another bill creates a legislative committee to study school violence. Such committees usually recommend legislation. The committee would also work to identify at risk kids and look at ways to get them help.

"When a child has a mental health issue, we want to make sure that they get the assistance and help they need but also [make sure] they're not putting other kids in harm's way," said State House Democratic Majority leader Crisanta Duran.

The bills have bipartisan support.

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