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Responding to Racial Assault on South High Student

Aug. 25, 2017

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, several students from South High School boarded an RTD bus after school. During that ride, a student was subjected to racial slurs and physically attacked by an older male on the bus. Witnesses said the older man, who is white, singled out the student, who is African-American, based solely on race. Bus passengers, including several DPS students, quickly intervened and the attacker left the bus. Denver Police, RTD and DPS Safety are investigating; the victim did recover sufficiently to return to school the next day.

DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg released the following statement Aug. 24 about the assault:

“We are outraged and deeply concerned about this apparently racially motivated attack on one of our students, and I have talked personally with Denver Police Chief Robert White about the attack. We are working closely with Denver Police and RTD to identify the attacker and, once apprehended, we will continue to work with them to ensure the assailant is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

RTD has already committed to providing additional security on this bus route, and we are working with Denver Police and the South community to ensure all their students are safe while traveling to and from school. We wish to emphasize how rare such an incident as this is and that our students have been safe on hundreds of thousands of RTD rides over many years.

We encourage anyone with information about this attack to contact Denver Police or to use our Safe2Tell hotline, which is anonymous, at 1-877-542-7233. In addition, for families and students who would like to discuss concerns related to this issue, please reach out to our Family and Community Helpline at 720-423-3054.”