As you may be aware, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education (BoE) approved a resolution in the summer of 2020 to remove all School Resource Officers (SRO) from DPS schools. SROs are employees of the Denver Police Department (DPD) who worked inside some DPS schools. For some perspective, less than 20 School Resource Officers were in our 220 schools. Each DPS high school has an SRO, as well as a few select middle schools.
Since the vast majority of our schools have never had SROs, we have numerous examples of how to provide safe schools without having a DPD officer inside the building. However, even without SROs in our buildings, we know there is ongoing work needed to end the school-to-prison pipeline. These efforts include decreasing the number of criminal citations to our students, reducing referrals to law enforcement for our students, and continuing to create safe schools through positive safety and discipline measures. We are also focused on ensuring that, in those instances when we do need police support on our campuses, those law enforcement officers are working with our schools and students in an anti-racist and culturally-responsive way.
In our ongoing endeavor to ensure that all of our students have safe and healthy schools, we know that it is important that we hear from students and families at our schools with SROs. Your input will help us better prepare for the transition and ensure that your hopes, expectations and concerns about eliminating the school-to-prison pipeline are addressed.
We will be hosting several restorative approach conversations as we move forward together with the community. Please see the information below regarding upcoming opportunities for engagement:
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021:
- 4:00pm – 4:45pm is hosted in English with Spanish and Vietnamese interpretation
- 5:00pm – 5:45pm is hosted in Spanish and interpreted into English
Meeting information: Below are the options to join the event
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/93357800617?pwd=K3FwSTFSY1RLdVRMZm9Dc3M4TTJGZz09
Meeting ID: 933 5780 0617
One tap mobile
+16699006833, 93357800617# US
+12532158782, 93357800617# US
In mid-March, we will host a conversation in Vietnamese with English translation. Please be on the lookout for more information around this in the next couple of weeks.
During these discussions, we will share information on which schools will see this transition, and how educators in our schools, mental and behavioral health specialists, safety experts, and community partners are informing this work. Team members from the school district, including Schools, Student Equity and Opportunity, the Department of Safety, Family & Community Engagement, and Board of Education members will participate and be available to hear your questions, hopes and concerns directly.
We will host additional meetings in April to share a draft transition plan and get your feedback and input on final changes to this transition. To ensure the transition of SROs out of schools is working for our students, families and school leaders, we will continue to engage with families and students into the next school year.
For additional questions and concerns, please contact:
Daisy Garrison-Davis, DPS
CESA Team Partner, Central Region