Updated: I made a booboo and said “Jefferson County” instead of “Denver.” Are you as confused by the timeline of what’s happening in DougCo, JeffCo, and Colorado as I am? I’m going to follow up.
Dear Grace Davis,
I know a bit about causing a stir, and angering administrators and students at Ponderosa High School. Our senior year, my friends and I orchestrated a Human Rights Awareness week – something you wouldn’t think would piss people off – and ended up int he principal’s office. I had to walk through every day with disgruntled students and discuss my sources for our facts, and why each poster was relevant and necessary to PHS students’ education. Some kids even ripped our butcher paper off the walls, and we had to go through the whole system to get them put back up. Back then, though, the Douglas County School Board was largely in the background, and our main cause of concern with them was our lack of snow days, so our disruption never went up that far.
Grace, you are a bright, strategic, and brave young woman. I am so incredibly proud of you for taking a stand in protecting Ponderosa’s teachers. The protest you planned was the first good news out of PHS in years. In emails with my AP English teacher a couple of years ago, we agreed that it was so good we got out when we did (she retired after my class graduated). The fact that I was emailing one of my teachers 10 years later is a testament to the quality of educator that Douglas County School District used to bring in. Now those teachers are being taken advantage of, and quite honestly, the DCSD school board is cheating you, as a student, out of the educators, and quite frankly, the tax dollars necessary to make a world class education.
I stand with you, the teachers, and the board minority in Douglas County. Watching the farce of democracy that the board has become makes me ill. I didn’t need a private school education growing up in Parker (ok, for pre-college… let’s leave my university out of this…) because PHS was already a great school. Now… no wonder parents want those ill-conceived vouchers.
The bottom line is that no one should be intimidating students in the first place, but to do so in a closed door meeting, sans parents, where the Board president and vice president don’t think they can be caught intimidating a student? That’s unconscionable. President Meghann Silverthorn and Vice President Judith Reynolds knew what they were doing; you can hear it in the audio, and in the threats they issued regarding fallout from the protests and costs that could land on your parents’ shoulders. They lied and blew up the incident in Denver where a police officer at a student protest was struck by a driver having a seizure in order to scare you. They should apologize (and not Ms. Reynolds’s “I’m sorry you feel that way” half apology), and resign.
You were quick thinking in recording that private meeting, Grace. You were brave standing before the School Board and standing up for yourself – I loved it when you said your mental health wasn’t an agenda item. It is commendable that you, a sophomore, are causing an uproar in defense of your teachers, and your education. I am angry that your education is taking a backseat to the personal interests and shenanigans of the Board.
You’re fighting the good fight, Grace. No matter the outcome of this, no matter the outcome of the next DCSB election, what you’re doing is meaningful and I hope more of your fellow students join you. In the so-called business oriented world of this Board, never forget that you are the client, you are who is being served.
And you know what they say about the customer?