A group of Adams County third-graders on a field trip to Denver City Hall were left on a street corner for 60-90 minutes, waiting for the return of school buses. The 93 third graders, along with 22 adult teachers and parent chaperones, from Coronado Hills Elementary, visited City Hall on Friday.

Adams 12 School District buses were scheduled to pick them up no later than 1:30 p.m. But when some of the third graders had not reported back to the buses by the deadline, those who had boarded were ordered off the buses and left to wait. The group waited on Bannock Street for between one hour to 90 minutes, according to a school district spokesperson.

The action was justified as needed to avoid a “domino effect” with delayed bus service to other students and schools. It was acknowledged that it “wasn’t an ideal situation.”

Anyone familiar with Bannock in the area of City Hall understands what an understatement that is – this area of downtown, close to Civic Park, can be threatening to most adults. Leaving close to a hundred third graders unrestrained on a street anywhere is unacceptable, but to do so in a heavy traffic area with a high population of homeless, drug dealers and openly mentally ill is outrageous. Adam 12 school district should never have allowed such a choice.

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