I offered remarks at public comment for the DPS board meeting on September 23, 2021, regarding the way they have handled the situation with Dir. Tay Anderson
For the record, there are some strategies and positions that Anderson has that I don’t necessarily agree with…plus, my politics are much further left than his. But I don’t agree with the political hit job that has been perpetrated on him.
The school board has only one way to deal with “errant” board members, and that’s when they are convicted of crimes against children. That’s it. That’s all they get. And the rest gets handled at the ballot box. That’s why this whole hit job has been so political, because pro-charter folks know how wildly popular is Anderson. They decided to wade into the deeply-seated stereotypes about Black men being hypersexualized to create a fissure between the community and the person they overwhelmingly put on the board.
Here are my remarks, and the video is above.
I’d like to first address the Superintendent, because I have a concern with the way that the Northeast Denver Innovation Zone conducted themselves in authorizing the recent student uproar over the unfair censure that Tay Anderson faced last week.
Now, I realize that Innovation Status confers a certain amount of autonomy, but public schools are bound to a standard that requires them to not wade into political matters. We now know that the Executive Director, Vernon Jones, stood down while Northfield staff facilitated this protest. They allowed students to use the school’s public address system and even rearranged the bell schedule so that students could protest Tay Anderson.
Their own announcement has the following, “We should, right now, be transparent with you all considering many students including male, female, and non-binary students have created bonds, trust and communication with DPS school-board director Tay Anderson. And what we now know so far, due to recent news, this is unacceptable, we should not tolerate anything related to assault.”
How can any reasonable person think that this event was not political in nature? Did the NDIZ board authorize this? Did they vote on it?
Mr. Superintendent, this is something that you don’t directly control, but certainly this information needs to be part of the evaluation process for a re-authorization of this innovation zone. It is irresponsible and bordering on educational malfeasance to allow this highly politicized situation to fester. I am calling for you to investigate which staff at which schools facilitated students to leave school because of spurious reasons and to discipline accordingly.
And now I want to turn my attention to the DPS board. It is stunning to me that elected officials would allow themselves to be dragged into false charges and defamation of character initiated by known white supremacist elements. Let me read to you CRS 22-31-107 section 5 A, which states
(a) Any person who has been convicted of commission of a sexual offense against a child shall not be eligible for the office of school director of a school district. If a person becomes ineligible pursuant to the terms of this subsection (5) while serving as a school director, a vacancy shall be deemed to exist that shall be filled as provided in section 22-31-129.
You should have waited for a police report and conviction, which would have been consistent with state law. Instead what you chose to do was to further defame Director Anderson’s character and waste thousands of taxpayer dollars to do so. You chose to punish him for his human right of self-expression by expressing frustration over the continued attacks of white supremacists.
You chose to nail him with something, anything, as long as you could keep the white supremacist wolves off your own backs.