The Denver teachers’ union wasn’t worried so much about the actual allegation against their endorsed candidate for the school board or that he might be a threat to students.
The union’s fear was that the allegation could surface during candidate Tay Anderson’s campaign and cost him the election.
That’s the disturbing takeaway from a new report that reveals the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) was aware of a troubling accusation against Anderson before he was elected in 2019.
The union tried to persuade another candidate to run for the at-large seat. But in the end they gave Anderson their endorsement and $40,000 in donations to run for an office with access and power over minors.
Of all unions, shouldn’t teachers who are responsible for reporting sexual assault and other dangers to children to the authorities have exercised more caution during their endorsement process?
They were warned, but now it appears they cared more about their own power than the children they are tasked with protecting.
Chalkbeat reports the union wanted Radhika Nath to run for at-large rather than the southeast seat, although the union denies it. Nath did not switch, and lost the election.
However, two people in Nath’s campaign who asked to remain anonymous confirmed that DCTA asked Nath to move because leaders expected a sexual assault allegation against Anderson to surface. The two people said they were in the room for conversations between the union and Nath and also spoke with the union’s hired political consultant, Rachel Caine.
The two people said Nath’s campaign also had a conversation with Anderson’s campaign about the allegation.
Asked whether Anderson or his campaign knew about a sexual assault allegation in 2019, Anderson’s lawyer Christopher Decker said in an email, “That is not accurate and I do not believe there will be any evidence (contemporary in time) to support that.”
Anderson was accused this spring by the local Black Lives Matter chapter of sexual assault of an anonymous victim.
More recently a local activist testified before the state legislature that more than 60 minors of non-citizen status, almost all of whom are students, claim Anderson has sexually harassed or assaulted them.
Denver students are planning a protest against the school board at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Denver City and County Building.
The protest is organized by Gigi Gordon, who graduated this spring and is also petitioning the board to remove Anderson’s name from high school diplomas.