By Joel Hillan
DENVER (CBS4) – A newly released study by A+ Schools Colorado shows Denver Public Schools are as segregated by race and class as ever.
One school is showing that not all schools fall into that category.
The Denver School of Science and Technology Stapleton is located in a part of Denver that not’s necessarily diverse, but inside the school you find students from all backgrounds.
“There’s a lot of religions. There’s all different colors. You don’t really see racism in this school, which you can’t say that for many other schools,” said Mariyem Tagir, a freshman at DSST.
She hopes to one day become a pediatrician. As a girl of Muslim faith, she says she feels no barriers nor limits.
“DSST respects you as an individual in every single way, and everyone’s different, and they do an amazing job at supporting you at whatever you are,” she said.
School Director Jeff Desserich says integration is key to the learning experience at DSST. He says he’s concerned about the segregation he sees in other DPS schools.
“If a neighborhood remains segregated, and therefore the school that’s in that neighborhood remains segregated, then we don’t get the benefits of an integrated school for anybody,” said Desserich.
In its admissions lottery, DSST gives students from diverse backgrounds priority. Desserich suggests this could serve as a model of integration at other schools.
“You could see where other people are coming from and even in the learning classroom, you can get a different perspective of how someone might view something or different perspectives in all types of learning,” said freshman Jamani Stephen.
A+ Schools Colorado will be holding another public meeting about integration later this month.