Dear DSA parents and students,

I would like to inform you that a serious incident occurred this morning involving one of our high school students as he walked to school. While the student was walking through an alley from the 23rd Street RTD stop to our school around 9 a.m., a man approached the student at gunpoint, verbally threatened him and robbed the student of his pocket belongings. This is certainly a terrifying experience for our student and for all of our school community. Fortunately our student was physically unharmed in the incident. He immediately came to DSA’s front office and reported what happened. DSA administration then called Denver Police and DPS Safety and Security and officers quickly responded. Denver Police are investigating the incident.

I ask that all students avoid using alleys as walkways to and from school. Safety is a top priority of the Denver Public Schools and Denver School of the Arts. Please be assured that our staff will continue protocol and vigilance throughout each day to ensure the safety of your student. I encourage you to take this chance to talk with your student about contacting an adult immediately if they ever feel unsafe, confirming after-school arrangements, and showing your child how to dial 911 from a public phone if he or she ever feels unsafe.

Here are additional safety tips from Safe Child protocol:

Teach your children to use the buddy system.
Know where your student is at all times. Establish good communication with your student to ensure they readily report to you any unusual occurrences.
If your student is approached by strangers, they should take several steps backward, stay out of arm’s reach and run to a safe area. If they are confronted, they should be taught to scream, “I’m not your child” or “You’re not my parent.” Many times children forget to scream.
Make sure students learn to identify safe people such as policemen and firemen. Show them where safe homes or buildings are in the neighborhood in case they need to run to them. Identify which neighbors are available to help when you are not at home. In an emergency situation, children should run to the nearest house for assistance. They should avoid alleys and empty lots, houses or garages.
Parents and children should establish a password known only by the immediate family. Children should be told not to go with an unfamiliar person without using the password.
Parents should notify both the school and the police if an incident occurs anywhere or anytime.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your support in keeping our students safe.


William Kohut