Tax on Pot Helps Colorado School Fight Bullying

By: LightField Studios
April 10, 2019
Updated 1mo ago

Students at a Colorado elementary school can learn without intimidation and harassment thanks to an anti-bullying program funded entirely by tax on marijuana sales, the school's principal said.

“We've had a lot of positive feedback,” Aron Jones, the principal at Parkview Elementary in Lamar, Colo., told Cheddar in an interview Wednesday. “I have not really heard any issue with where the funding comes from. Our success has really outshined that fact.”

Administered by the state's Department of Education, the School Bullying Prevention and Education Grant (BPEG) launched 2015 when voters approved a measure to allocate tax revenue from cannabis sales for school construction and other educational programs.

BPEG receives $2 million a year to help prevent bullying in schools across the state.

“Every teacher and auxiliary staff in the district has been trained with this particular program,” Jones said. The program also “gives the kids the tools to deal with bullying incidents.”

In Lamar, a town of fewer than 8,000 residents in Southeast Colorado, the school district received about $141,000 to provide the town's 1,459 students with the anti-bullying program in the 2018-19 school year.

Jones said that schools across the state have also seen success in reducing instances of bullying and hoped that more states in the U.S. would follow Colorado’s lead.