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Aurora middle school parent misidentified as sex offender; school district admits mistake

Posted: 5:32 PM, Nov 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-06 01:23:30Z

AURORA, Colo. -- A father with a student in Aurora Public Schools is confused and embarrassed after being misidentified as a sex offender at his son’s middle school. More than a week after the incident happened, the school district said it has since fixed the problem, but it has caused the parent and his family a lot of frustration.

“When I walked out of the school I felt like my whole world had been turned upside down,” said Larry Mitchell, an Aurora Hills Middle School parent.

Mitchell and his wife went to visit their son for an event at his middle school in late October. When the school ran Mitchell’s ID through the security system, he was told his identity was a potential match of a registered sex offender in a nationwide database.

"I was really lost and bewildered; I didn't know what to do,” said Mitchell.

At that point, the school went into district protocol — offering to escort Mitchell to his son's school event.

“So basically being ruled publicly as a sex offender in front of a bunch of people I don't know that spend their day with my son didn't sit great with me,” said Mitchell.

Denver7 connected with Aurora Public Schools on Monday about the situation.

"We have determined that Mr. Mitchell is not on the national sex offender registry, school staff have been notified of that and he would not be flagged as he came back into the school in the future,” said Corey Christiansen, Public Information Officer for Aurora Public Schools.

The school’s Raptor security system was first implemented at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. Out of more than 175,000 visitors through the school district since then, Christiansen said eight people have been denied access to buildings. People who are flagged, such as Mitchell, are offered access with a security guard escort.

Denver7 double checked Mitchell’s name on a registered sex offender database for the Denver Metro Area. Our team was unable to find any results matching his name or personal information.

Mitchell said he hopes this situation comes with a learning lesson so that other people aren't mistaken at schools in the future.

“An apology and maybe some kind of assurance that there is some kind of a policy to address the mistakes or mix-ups so that it doesn't happen to other people,” said Mitchell.