DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver Public Schools parent has concerns about his child’s safety after a homeless encampment popped up directly across the street from his kid’s school.
Kieran Schweidel records his walk to his kid’s school and said he sees multiple encampments on the way.
He said his concern is the proximity of a handful of tents near Polaris Elementary School.
“I’m not looking to fix the city at large. I don’t think it’s fixable. Just around the school. Please, can we keep that safe? If children aren’t sacred, I don’t know what should be,” Schweidel said.
At the school, the Problem Solvers found a sign that says “Kiss and Drop Zone” and numerous tents across the street. He takes issue with cleanliness and safety close to the school grounds.
“Most of the time we have to walk into the street because there’s literally no walking room there. We walk through piles of human excrement I mean, there is feces, there is trash, there’s urine, and that’s going to school and I never say a word. But when I get to school and it’s there, it’s you know, it’s not safe. It’s not clean,” Schweidel said.
DPS sent us a statement about the camp saying:
The safety and well-being of our students are the primary priorities for Denver Public Schools. Recently, an encampment of people experiencing homelessness has appeared across the street from Polaris Elementary. While we are optimistic that the people here will be good neighbors, school officials have shared concerns about trash, drug paraphernalia and human waste on the playground and the sidewalks students use to get to and from the school. We are working with the community to address these issues. Our efforts include asking the City of Denver to help us ensure that students are safe while they are on the playground and on their way to and from school.
“The district itself and the staff and the students and the teachers. They’re doing the best they can. I don’t know what’s more expected. They are not the police. They’re not they’re not street cleanup. They’re supposed to just be educating kids,” Schweidel said.
Advocates say that constant move-on orders cause unhoused people to have sleep deprivation, massive stress, mental instability and might even force them to move to less safe locations.