Student and parent groups pushing Denver schools to hire counselors
Against a backdrop of rising youth suicide rates and disproportionately harsh discipline for black and Latino students, Denver teenagers and parents are calling for more mental health workers — and fewer police officers and security guards — in the city’s schools.
Over the past few months, the Denver Public Schools superintendent and school board heard from a 16-year-old high school junior who said he has attempted to take his own life 11 times. His school, he said, “had no resources to help me.”
Eighteen-year-old senior Marlene Infante Sanchez recounted how despite her good grades and behavior, her high school labeled her a “bad kid” when her attendance dipped because she was dealing with issues at home. Instead of finding a way to support her, she said school administrators threatened to transfer her to another school.