A high school in Denver has come under fire for showing a video to students telling them not to necessarily call police if they see a violently racist or homophobic incident, for fear of escalation.
Titled “Don’t be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks,” the video gives suggestions of what to do if the viewer witnesses such an attack.
The video, which was posted in 2017, states that “in our current political moment, White supremacists and White nationalists have been emboldened, and as a result, public attacks are on the rise.”
The video gives tips of what to do if a viewer sees a violent racist attack. One tip was to talk to the victim, document the incident and support the victim by staying with them. The fourth tip, though, was to “not call the police,” saying it “escalates, rather than reduces” violence.
“Because police have been trained to see people of color, gender-nonconforming folks, and Muslims as criminals, they often treat victims as perpetrators of violence. So, if the victim hasn’t asked you to call the police, do not — I repeat, do not — call the police,” the video says.
A letter signed by five law enforcement associations in Colorado called out the video, warning it would increase “negative perceptions of law enforcement and [hurt] our efforts to build trusting relationships within the communities we serve, including schools and student populations.”
“Discouraging students from calling the police in situations that have a high probability of violence and telling them to handle it themselves is irresponsible,” the letter continued. “Suggesting that police officers are trained to treat people of color and members of the disabled and LGBTQ communities as perpetrators is false and offensive.”
Denver Public Schools told Fox News Digital the video was “not fully vetted” prior to being shown to students, and the district does “not subscribe” to some suggestions in the video. A district spokesperson told Fox News Digital the video was chosen because of its title and theme, but no one viewed the video before it was shown to students.
Rachel Goss, the principal of Denver South, the school where the video was shown, said it was meant “to provide empowerment for people who may witness these types of attacks, not to have any sort of negative impact on the longstanding relationship between the Denver Public Schools and the Denver Police Department.”
Goss also added the school’s priority is the safety of students, and will continue “all responsibilities of being mandatory reporters.”
A spokesperson for the district told Fox News Digital the school believes students should contact the police if they witness a violent incident.
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