AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Aurora Public Schools sent out an email Sunday to parents letting them know of increased security and new mental health resources for students and staff after two shootings in one week.
“My concern is that now the violence is going to move directly into the school,” Tenisha, the mother of a Hinkley High School student said.
Tenisha, who wants to keep her last name anonymous, said that during the shooting in the Hinkley High parking lot, her daughter hid in one of the school bathrooms.
“’All I could tell her was ‘you get in the back stall put your feet up and sit still. You wait until they say, this is Aurora police you can come out,'” Tenisha said.
APS announced that campus would be closed during lunch for students. Munn extended that closure to the entire day with a few exceptions.
“Hinkley is surrounded by apartments. So are these kids going to the apartments and then bringing that back to school?” Tenisha said.
Students are not allowed to go to their cars in the parking lot during school hours without permission.
The Aurora Police Department will have more presence on and around APS campuses.
All restrictions will remain in place until winter break. Officials will decide after then whether or not the protocol will continue for the next semester.
“Exceptions to this will include: students leaving for classes at the Community College of Aurora and Pickens Technical College, students leaving the school with parent/guardian permission, students attending supervised athletics/activities, and students attending field trips with supervision. Students should check in with the main office prior to leaving campus,” Rico Munn, APS superintendent said in a release.
Tenisha said she understands the security switch but worries moving things to a closed campus could push the violence inside.
“Is security going to be able to handle all those kids all at once when they are used to going outside?” Tenisha said.
Tenisha said that parents really need to step up and talk to their kids and create a village around these students just trying to get their education.
“Parents we got to step up. We can’t put everything on the teachers who decided to be teachers or police who decided to be police. We made the choice to be parents and as parents, we need to do our jobs,” Tenisha said.
Tenisha said if the closed campus concept doesn’t work the district should consider moving back to remote learning.
“If that’s the only way I can keep my kid safe cause I know she’s in the office doing school work and that’s my responsibility,” Tenisha said.
Officials encourage students to reach out to their school counselors to help through the violence. The National Association of School Psychologists and the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 are other options for APS students and families.
APS staff can utilize the employee assistance program to reach out.
Concerned students and parents can call in tips and concerns anonymously through Safe-2-Tell at 1-877-542-7233.