DENVER (KDVR) — Parents and students at Denver’s East High School say they have fears and concerns as classes are set to resume in just a couple of days.
A group of parents has now formed to demand the school board and district be more transparent about their safety plan. This new effort is taking place after two administrators were shot there just before spring break.
The new organization is called the “Parents – Safety Advocacy Group,” which says it wants more transparency from the district. They want to know what the district will do to keep their kids safe.
East High parent: ‘We’ve been told nothing’
Shortly after the shooting at Denver East almost two weeks ago, Denver Public Schools said it would place armed school resource officers on campus to help protect students.
“In the 10 days since the most recent shooting. We’ve been told nothing from the DPS board. Nothing about safety improvements at our school except for the return of school resource officers,” parent group member Sri Viswanath said.
The group said more than 500 parents have joined its efforts. It has a list of student safety questions it wants answered. Some parents said they tried to get answers at a previous board meeting to no avail.
“We were there for that transparency, but they gaveled into executive session and, quite frankly, that pissed me off,” group member Steve Katsaros said.
“Some people don’t have a sense of urgency. We do, because we are the ones who will miss them at night when they cannot come home,” group member Astrid Ruiz said.
Those with the parent group say the main goal now is to begin a dialogue with Denver Public Schools.
“We’re not here to malign anyone but we want a seat, and what is your plan going forward, because what we have gotten up until this point is nothing,” group member Vince Jordan said.
Denver parent group invites other districts to join
The group said is inviting parents from other schools who also have concerns about the safety of their students.
“It’s very uncomfortable. It’s very scary. Like the fact that something happened, it feels like they are not taking any preventative measures,” East High student Tessa Klopper said.
She and her mother are among those worried about what school here will look like when students return on Wednesday.
A Denver Public Schools spokesperson said Monday that in addition to two armed officers on campus, it’s working on establishing mental health resources.
The district will be meeting with parents at East at 5:30 p.m. Monday to talk about safety measures.