On Wednesday, Palm Springs Unified School District approved contracts for school resource officers to return to campus for the school year, but Desert Hot Springs parents are pushing for them to return sooner rather than later.
“Well, I’m very scared actually because I still have two daughters at the high school,” said Desert Hot Springs High School parent, Gabriela Franco Felt.
Another brawl at Desert Hot Springs High School, which parents and students said is becoming more frequent ever since school resource officers were removed from the campus this school year.
“It’s very scary because it’s not just about what’s going on now- we saw this coming,” said Felt. “The Palm Springs Unified School District took the human resource officers out. We saw this coming.”
As students returned to campus after more than a year of virtual learning, many were surprised, and concerned, that resource officers would not be returning with them this school year.
Now with frequent fights, Felt said she is concerned for her children’s safety. It’s not the fighting itself that’s the problem. Her fear is what may happen as a result.
“You never know how some kids come back to school with guns or other weapons,” said Felt. “It’s pretty scary. I don’t want to be negative and think the worst, but it’s just escalating so fast right before our eyes.”
In September, officers were dispatched to Desert Hot Springs High School to reports of a student in possession of a knife on campus.
Felt said these fights if not prevented by resource officers on campus could result in serious consequences for other students.
“The kids need someone to come and establish orders, establish boundaries, and establish discipline- all of those things that were thrown when they decided to take the resource officers out of the school,” said Felt.
Before officers return to campus, each city council in the district will have to approve the new contract. So far, Cathedral City has been the only city to do so.
The City of Desert Hot Springs will host a town hall meeting on Monday, Oct. 18 at 6p.m. Parents are invited to attend to discuss recent violence at the high school.