DENVER — A school board director for Denver Public Schools wants to cut ties with the Denver Police Department.
It’s not a new proposal, but it is gaining traction as protests for racial equality erupt across the country and in Denver.
“We are seeing more of our students being ticketed at such a young age. Our schools cannot be ground zero for the school to prison pipeline,” Tay board director Anderson said.
Studies have shown black and Latino students are more likely to be ticketed, suspended and arrested by officers on school campuses.
Anderson wants to take the $750,000 contract the district has with Denver police and instead use the money to help students through the pandemic and mental health issues.
“Our students shouldn’t be greeted by law enforcement officers they need to be greeted by mental health support, school counselors and full time nurses in our schools,” Anderson said.
Anderson still thinks schools should have security but doesn’t believe they should be armed.
A similar conversation is happening in Boulder. Over 2,500 students have signed a petition demanding the University of Colorado cut ties with Boulder Police.
But some parents don’t agree and want school resource officers not only on campus, but armed.
“In the case of our loss of Kendrick last year we had an outsources security guard who wasn’t supposed to be armed who thank God he was there,” John Castillo said.
Castillo’s son Kendrick died trying to protect his classmates in the STEM School shooting in Highlands Ranch last year.
He thinks officers need more training to work in schools but overall believes they bring a wealth of knowledge that can protect students.
“They know who the gang unit is, they know if there is prior issues or individuals tied to crime,” Castillo said.
Anderson will announce his plan during a press conference Friday, June 5, at West High School at 9 a.m. He says the district will have formal conversations with the community in August and they could vote as early as September.