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Denver Public Schools appeals judge’s order to release recording of secret meeting about SROs: “An embarrassment” | #schoolsaftey

Denver parents want to know what Denver School Board members talked about behind closed doors when they agreed to allow police back in Denver schools. A judge has cleared the way for that to happen. but parents will have to wait a little longer.

The meeting took place after the shooting at East High School in March. A student shot two deans, wounding them, then left the campus and killed himself. The shooting and the aftermath revealed a long list of troubling things about security within DPS.

The judge ruled the school board broke the law by meeting in private but the school district is appealing that decision. After the ruling on Friday, the district decided it will appeal the decision to release the video on Monday because they disagree with the ruling, while parents argue this is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

RELATED: Denver Public Schools releases new safety plan draft, calls for individual schools to decide on SROs and weapon detection technology

“The fact that Denver Public Schools is appealing the judge’s decision is an embarrassment and continues to show that they’re trying to hide the ball,” said Steve Katsaros, co-founder of the Parent Safety Advocacy Group, which was formed after the East High School shooting. “They need to understand that we, as taxpayers, have rights and we need access to what is ours.”

Katsaros said he was “terribly disappointed” to see DPS’ decision to appeal the ruling.

The judge’s ruling ordered the school board to release the five-hour closed-door meeting, which took place on March 23 and involved discussions of the return of police officers in schools. The Denver School Board voted 4-3 to reinstate SROs in that meeting.

School Board Vice President Aunon’tai Anderson also disagrees with the district’s decision. 

“The community should have access to those tapes and I’m not going to continue to be a part of a facade of hiding something from the public because I believe in transparency,” he told CBS News Colorado.

The judge determined that the school board adopted a proposed policy, resolution or formal action in violation of Colorado’s open meetings law, which states the formation of public policy is public business and may not be conducted in secret.

“I’m not sure if that decision would have actually held up if that order was struck down earlier than the vote,” Anderson said. “But the Denver School Board has decided I was in the minority and I’ll accept the will of the majority even if I disagree.” 

A group of Colorado media outlets has sued Denver Public Schools for the recording of that meeting.

Their argument is that the topics discussed were not all on the public agenda and that the school board may have made a decision without proper consideration from the public.

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