Denver education officials on Thursday voted to suspend a policy that previously barred officers in its public schools following a shooting by a student that injured two faculty members.
The Denver Public Schools board voted to halt the policy through June 30. The move came a day after Austin Lyle, a 17-year-old student at East Side High School, opened fire while being patted down during a search.
“The Board of Education supports the decision of Superintendent (Alex) Marrero to work in partnership with local law enforcement to create safer learning spaces across Denver Public Schools for the remainder of this school year,” a board statement said. “In addition, we will continue to work collaboratively with our community partners including law enforcement and our local & state legislature to make our community safer.”
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In a news conference following the meeting, Marrero said the district “failed Austin.” Board President Xóchitl Gaytán said there has been a “societal failure” in the city and nationwide amid the gun violence happening in schools.
After Wednesday’s shooting, DPS Superintendent Marrero pledged to reintroduce School Resource Officers (SROs) as calls quickly grew to increase security and student safety. SROs were removed from Denver’s public school campuses in June 2020 amid calls to scale back the presence of police officers in schools and other areas following the death of George Floyd.
That resolution called for terminating the school system’s contract with the Denver Police Department and completely removing school resource officers by the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
Hours after the shooting, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock stated his support for bringing back armed officers to the city’s public schools.
“Following the shootings at East High School today, @DPSNewsNow Superintendent Alex Marrero and I jointly agree that the safety of students and the public require deployment of police officers assigned to the high school for the remainder of the school year,” he tweeted.
Lyle was searched daily as part of a “safety plan” he previously agreed to in order to attend school. He fled the scene after the shooting and was found dead in a wooded area outside the city.
The two injured administrators were expected to survive.
Source: Fox News