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Parents, non-profit say they want to look at multiple solutions after East High School shooting

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Posted at 9:57 AM, Mar 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-26 12:01:57-04

DENVER — After a tough week for the entire East High School community parents and community members say they want to look at multiple solutions when it comes to violence at schools.

"Honestly this week was very, very hard," said Sara Peters, the mother of a Denver Public Schools student who's going to East High School next year.

Like some parents, Peters says she understands the district's move to put student resource officers back in DPS schools, but she says she wants the district to look at alternative solutions, too.

"I think that the recent events at least have forced us to reevaluate decisions that the district has made," Peters said. "I think school resources as an option should be available to the school in a really intentional, well-thought-out way. But I don't think that that should be a district-level decision. Just because every campus is so different."

Parents, non-profit say they want to look at multiple solutions after East High School shooting

Denver Families for Public Schools is a non-profit also hoping DPS looks into other solutions, as well.

"What we want to advocate for it's for that plan to be comprehensive and to ensure that community has a seat at the table in the creation of those policies, and in their execution," said Clarence Burton Jr., the CEO of Denver Families for Public Schools.

Burton says he'd like the district to use SROs as a tool in its toolbox. He's advocating it look into four other key issues which include restorative justice programs, mental health services, community-based interventions and the review of the district's threat assessment teams.

"In the coming weeks and months, we will be working directly with school communities to have conversations around school safety around these different issue areas, learn, you know, from their own experience, you know, what's working, what's not," he said.

As a parent of a soon-to-be East High School student, Peters says she wants in on those solutions.

"I mean, it's past time for me to figure this out," she said. "There are just so many levels on which this needs to be figured out."

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