Governments working together
If you have one, you know – it can sometimes be difficult to be around a teenager. It’s also hard to assess his or her behavior, or know the perfect thing to say.
Try hanging around over 600 teens all day – each facing their own issues and challenges. That’s what our five local high school staffs do for a living, and sometimes they need a little help.
For Eagle Valley High School, that’s when Eagle County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Silva enters the picture. Silva works for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, but is specifically the guy for the Town of Gypsum.
Eagle Valley High School is located in Gypsum and when Silva asked Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Schroll is he could help out at the school when needed, Schroll didn’t hesitate.
“The Town of Gypsum has been completely supportive of me helping out at the high school,” says Silva.
Assistant principal Jeff Lueders – who’s in charge of discipline at the high school – says he welcomes Silva’s help.
Silva recently spent an entire day at the school dealing with five different problems, including bullying, displays of strange behavior, and substance abuse.
“Bob is a tremendous person and he really cares about kids,” says Lueders. “Whenever he needs something, I try to help him. He is constantly looking out for us and we can call on him for any issue – criminal or non-criminal.”
Silva explains that most of the issues at the school are non-criminal. The school doesn’t see much gang-related activity and mirrors typical high school across the nation as far as drug and alcohol usage.
“Our teens are no different than anywhere else. They are experimenting and sometimes making poor choices,” Silva says.
He says that the staff at Eagle Valley is on top of strange behavior from kids and typically calls him even if it’s something fairly minor.
“Jeff Lueders’ No. 1 priority is a safe environment for kids to learn in. Something that seems minor may not be in a high school setting, and it’s better to be safe than sorry,” says Silva.
Government entities’ working together has always been a good thing, but more often than not, it just doesn’t happen. Silva says that along with the school, he often works with Colorado Mental Health Center and social services.
Lueders agrees that it’s important and communication is the key component to making it happen. A good working relationship, such as the one between Silva and Lueders, takes time to develop.
“We have to work together to solve some of these problems,” Silva says.