Apr 17, 2024 - Education

Denver schools tighten student discipline, new report shows

Illustration of a spotlight shining on an empty school desk facing a wall by itself.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Denver Public Schools are dispensing "permissible" disciplinary actions the vast majority of the time, even as questions remain about whether it reaches an appropriate level.

Why it matters: The district is facing intense scrutiny from parents and the public about how it handles troubled students after the March 2023 shooting at East High School.

Flashback: The East High student who shot and injured two deans had been expelled from a neighboring district and was subject to a daily search for weapons by school staff.

State of play: The "permissible" discipline matrix is new this year, our education reporting partners at Chalkbeat write, and it is designed to make corrective actions uniform across the district.

  • 94% of the 8,000 discipline actions met the criteria, compared with 83% last school year.
  • Black students continue to be disproportionately disciplined but the responses are in line with the permitted punishments.

What they're saying: "There's still a tremendous amount of growth and areas of improvement … we are trending better," superintendent Alex Marrero told school board members at a recent meeting.

What we're watching: The 2021 matrix for how students are disciplined is being rewritten after community input and will debut for the next school year.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more