Colorado parents asked to step in, guard middle school after nearby shootings
A Colorado middle school principal asked parents to step in and guard the school after two administrators were shot by a student in the area.
McAuliffe International School Principal Kurt Dennis sent a letter to parents in which he asked for volunteers to check student IDs and guard the doors at the Denver middle school.
"Our hope is that if enough adults sign up for a volunteer shift, we can address these areas for the duration of this school year," Dennis said in the letter, according to local 9News.
Dennis' letter, which was sent to families Friday, laid out "near-term improvements" to shore up school safety in the wake of a student at nearby East High School who opened fire on two people who were searching him for weapons last month.
Dennis told the outlet that his school has to pat down a student every day who was accused of attempted first-degree murder and illegal discharge of a firearm.
The principal explained in his letter that the school is seeking adults who are willing to be posted at the school doors throughout the day to ensure they are locked, as well as someone who can stay at the front entrance and run student IDs through a security system to check if they are permitted in the building.
Adults who take on the volunteer role will reportedly be decked out in bright yellow vests to indicate who they are.
Dennis also wrote that hoodies will no longer be a part of the middle school uniform because of the ability of students to hide things in them.
"Students wearing hoodies are difficult to recognize, and the pockets in front are used to store items out of sight from our staff," Dennis said. "Fortunately, crew neck sweatshirts are back in style, so hopefully, students won't protest this change in fashion too much."
Paul Ballenger, a father of a McAuliffe student, told the outlet that the move is "likely a step in the right direction."
"I know I have seen a lot of parents who really do want to try to help," Ballenger said. "They don't know how to help."
"I do feel better, but at the same time I feel the district there's a tremendous amount of work to be done," the father added.
Denver Public Schools is slated to roll out new safety changes in the district in a plan that will be released on May 1, with a final version coming out on June 26, 9News reported.
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