Is Denver Public Schools guilty of deliberately trying to scare away student protestors and potential victims of school board member Tay Anderson who has been accused of sexually harassing or molesting dozens of minors?
Or are they really so ignorant and insensitive to think it’s okay to send out one of their 10 staff lawyers to talk to the kids?
Because that was their reaction, to dispatch Kristin Bailey, counsel for equity, discrimination prevention and response, who’s also the Title IX coordinator that makes sure all those federal tax dollars the school gets doesn’t go to classes or programs that discriminate.
Checking our notes, we see the problem that prompted the protest prior to the school board meeting is not one of discrimination, but of numerous sexual misconduct allegations against a board member.
Do school officials think protestors are discriminating against Anderson because he’s Black?
Colorado Politics reported Bailey’s presence at the protest organized by Gigi Gordon was unwelcome.
“This is exactly what the district will do when you as a student try to tell them that you feel scared, and that you feel that no one is going to protect you,” Gordon yelled to the crowd. “They send people out here to make you feel more scared, and even more like nobody cares … it’s just mind blowing.”
Priscilla Shaw, a middle school teacher in the district, said Anderson’s return could be potentially dangerous as it could threaten the learning environment.
“Every child should feel safe and trust all adults, including elected board members,” Shaw said. “Students will not feel safe unless they believe that the adults around them are empowered to take action when students report an unacceptable behavior or patterns of grooming rather than waiting until these patterns culminate in a criminal act.”
CBS4 reported the protest was sparsely attended, and noted this was the reason why:
But a Title IX coordinator from the district was suspected of scaring away some students who wanted to attend.
“The girls are not here, but I think they’re intimidated, or they’re scared about showing up,” said Rebecca Kenderdine, a retired teacher from Colorado Springs who drove up with a few other teachers to join the protest. “I’m here to support and provide any help that they need or any guidance or direction because they don’t know what to do, they don’t know where to go.”
A crisis counselor or someone experienced in dealing with sexual assault victims might have been the right choice for the Denver School Board to send out to meet with protesters.
Meanwhile, the elected officials assured angry parents and students who spoke during the meeting the board is addressing the problem of these mounting allegations against Anderson by spending $50,000 on a team of other lawyers to investigate.
Not surprising, victims have so far been unwilling to come forward.