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Denver Mayor Calls for Return of School Resource Officers After Shooting at East High School

On Wednesday morning, a 17-year-old student allegedly shot two administrators at Denver’s East High School, which removed all school resource officers two years ago. This decision was made over concerns that law enforcement contact with students “directly contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline.” However, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said just hours after the shooting that two armed police officers will be stationed at East High School until the end of the school year, and it’s time to return school resource officers to schools. He stated that removing them was a mistake, and they needed to correct it.

A resolution to remove all school resource officers from the district was approved by the Denver Public Schools Board of Education in June 2020. The agreement between the school system and the Denver Police Department would expire at the end of the 2020–2021 school year, and school resource officers would no longer be hired.

All seven members of the school board at the time voted in favor of the resolution. Mayor Hancock said he is already hearing from some parents who are “frustrated” and “angry” about the removal of school resource officers. As of 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time, police were still searching for the suspect, 17-year-old Austin Lyle, who fled the school after opening fire (Best, 2023).

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