JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle school violence surges after police ban, district won’t reconsider decision

Dec 5, 2021, 12:20 PM | Updated: Dec 6, 2021, 12:43 pm
Aki Kurose Middle School...
Police cars at Aki Kurose Middle School in Seattle. (Photo courtesy of SPD Blotter)
(Photo courtesy of SPD Blotter)

Within a span of just 11 hours, there were five unrelated shootings in South Seattle last week. One occurred at Garfield High School. A second injured a 15-year-old girl and involved another teen just a block away from Aki Kurose Middle School.

The violence is nothing new for South Seattle. It prompted extra police patrols near at least four schools in the district, according to a police source. Seattle Public Schools (SPS) said it would increase school security, too.

But none of this would be as necessary had SPS not banned school resource officers from campuses in 2020. Given the uptick in violence — not just gun violence, but physical assaults — you would think the district is rethinking its decision. But it’s not.

Principals, meanwhile, may not wait for the district to act. There are rumors circulating that principals at some Seattle schools will demand a return to school resource officers.

Seattle schools boot cops and violence surges

The latest school shootings occurred last Thursday at Garfield High School and Friday near Aki Kurose Middle School.

Witnesses heard gunfire around 4:30 p.m. and saw teenagers fleeing the scene at Garfield. Officers found two sets of shell casings on campus. Police say this likely indicates two people exchanged gunfire. Police say they found evidence of at least three dozen shots fired.

Luckily, no one was hurt — this time. But it’s hard to imagine students or staff getting lucky again.

Hours later, around 3:30 a.m., there was a shooting one block from Aki Kurose Middle School. Police say they found “a 15-year-old girl with gunshot wounds to her legs inside a stolen, bullet-riddled Jeep.”

“The injured girl, and another teenage girl in the car, were evasive about the circumstances of the shooting, but police found more than two dozen rounds had been fired at a shooting scene several blocks away,” police said in a blotter post. “Officers found a gun near the scene, and a ski mask and bulletproof vest in the stolen Jeep. Police also found a large stack of cash, with an apparent hole from a bullet.”

Rantz: Seattle-area teacher recorded during vulgar, anti-police Kyle Rittenhouse rant

Why we’re here

In the wake of the anti-police Black Lives Matter and Antifa movement, SPS left its students vulnerable. The district severed ties with the Seattle Police Department.

The move came after the SPD and the National Guard used school property, on a weekend, to stage vehicles and personnel ahead of a planned riot. The SPS superintendent at the time, Denise Juneau, was livid.

“[Seattle Public Schools] did not give permission, nor condone the use of our property for staging militarized police or military personnel or vehicles,” Juneau wrote in a letter to the community. “I have contacted [Seattle police] and informed them they may not use our space in this way and have been assured it will not happen again.”

Kids and staff are in danger

At the time of the announcement, SPS said it would kick SPD School Emphasis Officers and School Resource Officers off-campus unless there was an emergency. Well, there have been plenty of emergencies.

SPS spokesperson Tim Robinson acknowledged that SPD had an increased presence at Garfield High School last Thursday and Friday.

“Now we’ve been ordered, per the command staff, to hang around and do heavy premise checks near schools,” Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

One source with the SPD explained the increased patrols also extended to other schools that apparently have seen some kind of violence: Franklin, Rainier Beach, South Lake, and Cleveland high schools. Neither SPS nor SPD would confirm.

Gwendolyn Jimerson of the Seattle Education Association celebrated the decision to boot cops from campus.

“The message that we want to send to our Black, our indigenous, and our people of color students are that we are here, we are there, and that we support them and their fears and their anxieties around the police,” she told KING 5.”We have educators who are not really feeling comfortable around police, in general, so we want people to know that we see what’s going on now.”

Apparently, these educators feel comfortable dodging bullets near campus. As usual, the bullets aren’t coming from police.

While activist teachers celebrate the anti-cop move, violence escalates

Violence seems to have escalated this year at Seattle schools. Some involve students, and others do not.

In August, there was a shooting at Aki Kurose Middle School. A 14-year-old alleged shooter left a 17-year-old to die in the street. Officers and medics were able to save the child.

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary also saw a shooting in a parking lot in June. There were two gunshot victims — both survived.

Police were recently called after a Seattle public high school student made repeated bomb and shooting threats to two local high schools. At Rainier Beach High School, a juvenile victim was pepper-sprayed by strangers nearby.

And on campus, schools have reported a rash of fights.

It’s not uncommon for police to be called to Franklin High School. In September, SPD says it sent a “large police presence” to campus after a series of escalating fights.

“It was believed there could be a retaliation fight involving a large number of students stemming from an incident that occurred the day prior,” an incident report said.

Will SPS reconsider police presence? No.

The SPS spokesperson says the district is not reconsidering the ban on police.

“At this time, there is nothing on an upcoming agenda about the issue,” Robinson said via email.

It’s unclear what it will take to reconsider. How many more shootings or fights have to take place for SPS to stop pretending it’s police officers that are the threat on campus? How many fights would be prevented if students knew an officer was on campus and could react quickly?

Rantz: WSU amplifies claim that farmers markets, food charity are ‘white supremacy’ in action

Rumors of principals demanding cops

Principals in Seattle may be ready to act.

Three police sources said they’ve heard that some principals are fed up with the violence. They may publicly ask SPS to reconsider its ban on police on campus. Given the anti-police sentiment shared by outspoken students and the school board, a hard push may be politically untenable for the principals.

Nevertheless, the SPD faces historically low staffing. It can take well over eight minutes to respond to an emergency on a school campus. When every second in emergencies count, perhaps the anti-police voices could look at this issue with logic and reason.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

wadoh...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WA Dept of Health defends mocking a death, then censors critic

WADOH mocked the death of a Washingtonian in a tone-deaf tweet. After criticism, the department triple-downed on the message.
1 day ago
police pursuit...
Frank Sumrall

Redmond’s new police tech working in tandem with WA pursuit laws

Redmond police have introduced a new GPS-monitoring technology to help track and locate criminals attempting to flee a crime scene.
1 day ago
Decatur High School...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: High School staffer faces investigation for alleged sex with student

A high school staff member is on leave pending the results of a police investigation. He's accused of having sexual contact with a student.
1 day ago
elementary school club...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Elementary school bans white students from ‘safe space’ club

A local elementary school has a student club that excludes students based on their race, according to a parent.
2 days ago
airport...
Frank Sumrall

State Rep: ‘None of these locations are suitable’ for a future airport

According to Jason Rantz, the acting chairman of CACC, Warren Hendrickson, stated he believes none of the airport locations will move forward.
4 days ago
ballard...
Frank Sumrall

Ballard brewery owner nearly loses business to homeless fire

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. in Ballard was nearly destroyed after a fire created by a homeless person nearly engulfed the property in flames.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Rantz: Seattle school violence surges after police ban, district won’t reconsider decision