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Parents question principal's leadership at Arapahoe High School after 2013 shooting

Principal Natalie Pramenko sends letter to school community in response

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Though things look normal outside of Arapahoe High School, a coalition of parents, students, and teachers say otherwise.

"It is a place where people feel very disappointed. They feel scared and they feel a total loss of attachment to the pride they once had,” Jessica Peck said.

Peck is the attorney for this Arapahoe Community Coalition which launched, this week,  a survey asking about concerns surrounding the school since the tragic shooting in 2013 of Claire Davis. In 2016, an official report was published outlining a series of failures by the school prior to the shooting.

"We've gone now three years since that report was first issued in which the district was compelled to admit a series of mistakes," Peck said.

 Peck says not much has improved at Arapahoe.

Since Claire's murder, Peck says eight students within the Arapahoe community have died from suicide. Within the past three months, two teachers have been arrested for sexually assaulting students.

This morning, Principal Natalie Pramenko sent a detailed letter to the school community which in part reads, "I am aware there are concerns about substance abuse, suicide, employee misconduct and school culture at Arapahoe High School..." It continues, "Moving forward, I will be doing more to tackle these tough issues to strengthen our community."

Peck says the letter is too little, too late.

“The letter had a very specific tone. It was very apologetic. It was trying to show empathy and then it finally tried to absolve itself of any responsibility,” Peck said. “The principal wants parents to trust her and unfortunately they put their trust in this leadership for the last several years and things have only gotten worse."

Peck says the community coalition is looking to bring in a new principal.
It wants an outside investigation to look into what's been happening at Arapahoe. It wants a way for teachers, students, and parents to report problems without fear of retaliation from the district or school administrators.

Peck says this is just the beginning of their push.

“The problem is there is no way right now where parents and teachers and students can communicate their concerns and know and trust that the system is going to pay attention and protect the victims,” Peck said.

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