Headlines – May 30, 2023 John Kelin
Denver Schools Safety Plan Second Draft
The second draft of the new Denver Schools Safety Plan leaves open the question of whether Denver Schools will have armed police officers on campuses in the 2023-24 school year.
That second draft was made public last Friday. A final draft of the school safety plan is expected at the end of June.
Between now and that time, the board will meet again to discuss the issue of police in schools, according to Chalkbeat. The board voted to remove officers, known as school resource officers, in 2020, following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
That ban was temporarily lifted after a student shot and wounded two administrators at East High School in March. The very next day, the school board told superintendent Alex Marrero to develop a new safety plan.
In the new second draft of the plan, Marrero is recommending that the school board decide the school resource officer question for all Denver high schools, and all 6th through 12th grade schools.
More Bills Signed; One Creates Colorado River Task Force
Governor Jared Polis signed at least seven new bills over the holiday weekend, including a bill creating the Colorado River Task Force.
The bills include:
- Senate Bill 6, which creates the Rural Opportunity Office.
- Senate Bill 303, aimed at reducing residential and commercial property taxes, but refers the issue to voters as a ballot measure in the November 2023 election.
- House Bill 1247, which assesses advanced energy solutions in rural Colorado
The governor also signed Senate Bill 295, which creates the Colorado River Task Force.
The task force must develop recommendations that address the drought in the Colorado river basin. The basin provides drinking water to more than forty million people, and irrigates more than five and a half million acres of farmland in the American southwest.
The task force membership must reflect Colorado’s racial and ethnic diversity. Members must have experience with water issues.
Last week seven states, including Colorado, reached an agreement to reduce consumption of Colorado River water.
The governor has signed nearly three hundred bills that passed in the legislative session that ended on May 8. Unless specified otherwise, all of them become law ninety days after being signed. The governor has until June 7 to act on remaining bills.
Student Loses Flag Sash Lawsuit
An eighteen year old Colorado high school student has lost a lawsuit against a school district on the Western Slope of Colorado that barred her from wearing a sash at her high school graduation.
A Federal judge ruled Friday that the Garfield County School District could legally bar Naomi Peña Villasano from wearing the sash made of Mexican and American flags.
Her attorneys argued that preventing her from wearing the sash during her graduation ceremony in Parachute, Colorado violated her right to free speech.
Colorado legislators passed senate bill 202 earlier this year to protect Native American regalia at graduation ceremonies. Peña Villasano said she’s 100% American and 100% Mexican and that shows on the sash.
Despite her loss in court, Peña Villasano, an honors student, draped the sash over her shoulder on Saturday when she lined up with other graduates from Grand Valley High School. She says she plans to major in social work at Metropolitan State University in Denver.
2023 Bolder Boulder
The 43rd annual Bolder Boulder 10K race is in the books, with Conner Mantz winning the men’s International Invitational Pro race with a time of 29 minutes, :08 seconds.
With the win, he became just the sixth American to win the pro race since 1984.
Emily Durgin won the women’s Pro race, with a time of 33 minutes, 25 seconds.
Ben Schneiderman, of Colorado Springs, won the men’s citizen race with a time of 31 minutes, 1.88 seconds. He’ll compete in the Olympic trials next February.
Molly Grabill won the women’s citizen race, finishing at 34 minutes 30 seconds.
Boulder Girl In National Spelling Bee
A ten-year-old Boulder girl is competing in the 95th Scripps National Spelling Bee, which begins today.
Sofia Tommey Wu, who just graduated from Douglass Elementary School, will compete against 212 other kids in the spelling bee’s preliminary round, at a hotel in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.
She won this year’s Boulder Valley School District Regional Spelling Bee in March.
Sofia could be considered a legacy spelling champ: her mother and her aunt both competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bees in the 1980s.
Another Colorado student is also taking part in this year’s national spelling bee: 12-year-old Aditi Muthukumar, who lives in Westminster.
Headlines – May 30, 2023 John Kelin