DENVER — At the regularly scheduled Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education public comment session on Monday, a handful of different issues were discussed during the hours-long meeting, including a push for the resignation of all board members.
Parents with the Resign DPS Board group say they are fed up with the violence after a 16-year-old student was shot and killed near East High School and a 17-year-old shot two deans inside the school. The group has started a petition, and the goal is an entirely new school board.
Members protested outside of the public comment session on Monday, and many spoke directly to the board.
“There's too much dysfunction, and there's too much focus on that rather than what needs to be done," Dorian Warren said about the current school board.
Warren, a Denver native, said one of her children currently attends East High School.
“I've really questioned whether or not he's going to be safe," the mother said about her son. “Hopefully, we'll get to a point once our kids are feeling safe and the teachers feel safe and we can focus on their education, because that's what they're there for.”
Board of Education Vice President Auon'tai Anderson, speaking on behalf of himself and not the school board, said he does not believe the effort is focused on students.
“I don't believe this group effort to recall, or have the school board resign, is focused on students," Anderson told Denver7. “Hypothetically, if the Denver School Board resigned and met these demands, the governor would likely appoint individuals to fill that vacancy... That's not going to be reality we'll face here in DPS. I plan to keep my job. I have not heard from any other of my colleagues that they plan to step down anytime soon.”
One of the other topics discussed during Monday's meeting was the innovation status that was revoked from certain DPS schools last week.
"The Kepner Beacon Innovation Zone was dissolved by the Denver School Board in a 5-2 vote on Monday of last week. That means that those schools will remain open at all times, just as they currently were. However, they will now be run by the district and not by an autonomous board or executive director," explained Anderson, who voted against the change.
Innovation schools have a certain amount of autonomy that many parents argue allows for a more personalized curriculum for students. What changes the schools will undergo have yet to be seen.