Aurora Schools Superintendent Increases Safety, Provides Mental Health Resources

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – The Aurora Public Schools superintendent has tightened security and is offering mental health resources to students and staff after two shootings in one week. Six students were shot near Central High and three were shot in the Hinkley High parking lot.

Rico Munn announced Saturday at a gathering for peaceful prayer at Nome Park, where one of the shootings occurred, that the campus would be closed during lunch for students. Munn extended this closure for the entire day with a few exceptions.

“Exceptions to this will include: students leaving for classes at Community College of Aurora and Pickens Technical College, students leaving school with parent/guardian permission, students participating in supervised sports/activities, and students participating in supervised field trips. Students must check in with the main office before leaving campus,” Munn said in a statement.

Students are not allowed to go to their car in the parking lot during class hours without permission.

The Aurora Police Department will have a greater presence on and around APS campuses.

All restrictions will remain in place until the winter holidays. Officials will then decide whether or not the protocol will continue for the next semester.

Mental Health Resources for Students and Staff

The safety of students and staff is not the only thing of interest, their mental well-being is also a concern. Munn reminds students that they can contact their school counselors to help them through violent incidents.

The National Association of School Psychologists and Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 are other options for APS students and families.

APS staff can use the Employee Assistance Program to reach out.

Concerned students and parents can call for advice and concerns anonymously through Safe-2-Tell at 1-877-542-7233.

Aurora Advisor Says More Needs To Be Done

The youth violence prevention program manager was hired just over six months ago, but Aurora Councilwoman Alison Coombs said more needs to be done.

“The main problem is that at this stage we only have prevention programs in place. We don’t intervene when we know children are already involved in gangs and other potential violent criminal activity,” Coombs said. “And we don’t have interrupt programs when we know something is likely to happen.”

An update from the Program Manager is scheduled for December 14.

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