BRIGHTON - Two eighth graders are facing criminal charges for a relatively minor scuffle at school.
Nobody was hurt in what appears to be a shouting match but school administrators called police anyway.
Parents sent a newstip to 9Wants to Know, and we found this incident brings to light the growing practice of educators calling the cops on kids.
Most 8th graders never set foot in a courtroom, never face a judge or prosecutor.
Adrian found himself facing criminal charges, at 13.
His mother Adriana asked us to hide both of their identities.
"I never thought I'd have to go through anything like this in my life. It's really, really bad," Adrian said.
A Brighton police report says teachers saw Adrian and another 8th grader arguing in January but never saw them lay a hand on each other.
Police charged both boys with disorderly conduct.
"He is going to college and I don't want this to follow him. My son is not a criminal, not at all," Adriana said.
Denver attorney Jessica Peck represents Adrian.
"Watching my client walk into a courtroom at 13 years old and facing an entire room full of strangers and facing a judge, that's very traumatic on a kid and even though these charges will be dismissed, the impact of this whole proceeding will span long into his future," Peck said. "Kids will get in fights. That doesn't mean we should be calling 911."
A check of Brighton police records shows Adrian's school, Bromley East Charter, is averaging 1 police call for every 11 students this school year.
Two other middle schools in Brighton, Prairie View and Vikan are calling the police even more frequently.
Both schools average 1 call for every 6 students.
Three elementary schools call with less frequency.
Northeast, Southeast, and Pennock Elementary Schools average 1 call for every 14, 21, and 19 students respectively.
Lori Sheldon is the executive director of Bromley East charter school, where police were called in Adrian's incident.
"There probably is more of a presence of police officers today. We don't call the police obviously on any arbitrary situation," Sheldon said.
Federal privacy law doesn't allow Sheldon to discuss Adrian's case.
She says school policy is to "err on the side of safety."
Brighton police crime analyst John Bradley says his department encourages schools to call the cops.
"We've moved to a time when school shootings do occur. If ever there was a time not to worry about burdening us, it would be with our children," Bradley said.
Denver-based Padres y Jovenes Unidos (Parents and Youth United) says students arrested in school are more likely not to graduate and a police record could hurt their chances of getting into college, the military, or a job.
Padres y Jovenes Unidos has worked with Denver police and public schools to clarify the role of officers on campus and reduce what the organization calls the "criminalization of students."
Last week, Denver was the first city in the country where students helped negotiate a contract, clarifying the role of police in schools.
The city's efforts to reduce the volume of public school students arrested began years earlier, and the results appear to be reducing the caseload in Denver's juvenile court system.
Denver had 3,608 juvenile court filings in 2012, a sharp drop from 13,012 filings in 1996.
Over two decades of court records obtained by 9Wants to Know, 1994-1997 were the highest volume years for Denver's juvenile court, with each year seeing more than 10,000 filings.
From 1998 to 2009, the number of filings fluctuated from 9,000 to 5,000 annual filings.
From 2010 to 2012, the number of filings has dropped below 4,000 annually.
Adrian thinks schools shouldn't be so quick to call the cops on kids.
"You don't realize that you're tampering with someone else's life. That you could possibly be threatening their future," Adrian said.
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