Rio Grande County Commissioners sign two proclamations

RIO GRANDE COUNTY — Over the past few weeks, Rio Grande County has seen a wave of COVID-19 cases causing county meetings to shift online.

In a special meeting on Thursday, Jan. 13, after the regular meeting the day prior was canceled due to a lack of quorum, Rio Grande County Commissioners adopted and signed a proclamation for the National School Choice Week.

According to the website, National School Choice week recognizes the importance of school choice for communities and students.

“School choice is the process of allowing every family to choose the K-12 educational options that best fit their children. Every child is unique, and all children learn differently. Some children might succeed at the neighborhood public school, while others might fit in better at a charter, magnet, online, private or home learning environment. That’s why school choice is so important! These options include all forms of education, from traditional public schools to public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling,” according to the NSC website.

Rio Grande County Commissioners adopted the proclamation which stated that, “All children in Rio Grande County should have access to the highest-quality education possible; and, Rio Grande County recognizes the important role that an effective education plays in preparing all students in Rio Grande County to be successful adults; and, quality education is critically important to the economic vitality of Rio Grande County; and, Rio Grande County acknowledges there are options including public, private, and at-home schools, from which parents can choose for their children; and educational variety not only helps to diversify our economy, but also enhances the vibrancy of our community; and, Rio Grande County has many high-quality teaching professionals in all types of school settings who are committed to educating our children; and School Choice Week is celebrated across the country by millions of students, parents, educators, schools and organizations to raise awareness of the need for effective educational options.”

In addition to the National School Choice proclamation, Rio Grande County Commissioners once again signed a proclamation recognizing January as Stalking Awareness Month. Rio Grande County Victim’s Advocate Courtney Arthur gave a presentation on the dangers of stalking and asked that the board sign the proclamation for the second year in a row. 

“January is Stalking Awareness Month, and it is something that is not only near and dear to my heart, it is also part of what I do for the county. As the victim’s advocate coordinator, it is something I deal with daily. The proclamation states that the county is going to take a stand against stalking across the state of Colorado and work with different agencies, sheriff’s offices, DEA offices and other organizations to make sure people understand that this is a crime. It is a crime that affects all 50 states, and it is something that is prevalent in our society,” Arthur said during her presentation. 

Arthur explained the difference between stalking and harassment. She said it comes down to how the incident and behavior of the people involved make the victim feel. When stalking is occurring, the victims often feel like their life is in danger.

“There is a sense of fear when someone is being stalked versus someone who is being harassed,” Arthur said. 

Commissioners approved the proclamation and thanked Arthur for her work and dedication.