DENVER (KDVR) — The safety of students has been a top priority for many. Parents in Denver are especially concerned about this given the shootings taking place at or near East High School this year where two students died and two administrators were hurt in separate incidents of gun violence.
It is another complex issue facing the city’s next leader.
No one wants students to fear for their lives while learning, but what’s the right answer? For these two candidates, it comes down to keeping kids busy and away from guns.
Brough said she wants to bring back an initiative the city used to utilize for years.
“When I was chief of staff to John Hickenlooper, we really partnered with Denver Public Schools. We had what we called a City-School Coordinating Committee. I would reinstate that committee where the school board, city council, the mayor and the superintendent are meeting regularly to make sure we are keeping our kids safe but frankly, really educating them and preparing them for a future in our city,” Brough said.
Members of the city council recently tried to bring this concept back saying they have not had one of these meetings in at least eight years during the Hancock administration. The city’s code of ordinances states the group is composed of three department heads or people from the mayor’s cabinet appointed by the mayor, three people from the DPS administration appointed by the superintendent, two members of the board of education appointed by the board’s president, two members of city council appointed by the mayor, and four Denver residents shall meet no less frequently than quarterly.
Brough is also calling for the city to embrace a full partnership between the city and DPS to offer a full range of security resources to all school principals.
Johnston is asking for more security too, but his platform has a major emphasis on expanding after-school programs.
“There is a lot we can do. Some are on prevention, making sure we are getting kids access to summer school and after-school programming early. It’s intervention when kids get into trouble, helping them get all the wraparound services they need to keep them safe and it’s also around school-based safety, making sure we can have school resource officers in schools that want them and need them. I would make sure we have the capacity for that and the resources to do that if we need to,” Johnston said.
Brough also said she would host city-sponsored gun buyback programs.
Johnston said he wants to reduce the number of guns getting into the hands of young people, saying he would establish a 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases.