I recently found something on social media that absolutely disgusted me. There are many things on social media that one can find offensive or inappropriate and typically I pay them no attention. However, when the content comes from Jeffco Public Schools Leadership, I have a big problem with it.
To: dvogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>; rhess <email@example.com>; dmcminim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Mon, Jun 8, 2015 2:01 pm
Dear Mr. Vogel, Mr. Hess, and Mr. McMinimee
I initially sent a complaint on May 13th to Mr. Hess and Mr. McMinimee about the student, XXXXX, who was targeted at the Public School Board Meeting. Though I was one of few people who attended that meeting in person and the only individual who went to sit by the student to ensure she was supported and talked to the student personally, I have never even received a response to my complaint.
I am now writing regarding yet another matter that has come to my attention. A Jeffco administrator (principal) has posted anti-Muslim content on her personal Twitter feed. Knowing several Muslim students and their families reside in our Jefferson County and attend our schools, I find this extremely inappropriate. While I support freedom of speech and expression and realize that this principal can do as she chooses on her own time as long as it doesn’t involve district resources, this is still extremely disturbing and this appears to be a recurring theme these days from Jeffco leadership. The content of the reTweet from our Jeffco principal reads
“You Say Not All Muslims Are Monsters…Imagine A Bowl of M&Ms. 10% Are Poisoned…Would You Eat A Handful?”
I find this so extremely offensive coming from a principal working with students and staff, some of whom may be Muslims and I fear for their safety knowing this principal feels this way. All of our students and staff deserve to be treated appropriately and cherished for their own individuality. I have a very good friend who is Muslim and met him in the corporate world where he is in management. He is kind. He is educated. He is knowledgeable. He is a leader. He is peaceful. He is fun. He also has a family including children who attend public schools. They happen to be Caucasian and are from Australia.
Perhaps Ms. Mumma is not aware that there are an estimated 1.57 Billion Muslims in the world. One percent of Americans identify themselves as Muslims according to a simple Google search. In Colorado, approximately 1% of our population is Muslim. How truly offensive to post something like that when students are looking up to this person as our Jeffco Schools Leadership. I have seen some of this mentality following the events of September 11th and realize that in most cases the ignorance is due to fear but never in my wildest dreams would have imagined it coming from a Jeffco principal knowing we serve Muslim families in Jeffco Schools.
The following is a list of very concerning and inappropriate events that have only recently occurred:
- Breaking policies of Jeffco Public Schools and bullying/intimidating a 17 year old Jeffco student by Communications Chief Pinto and Board Member John Newkirk and Board Member Ken Witt
- Potentially endangering a 17 year old Jeffco student by broadcasting the minor’s social media addresses
- All Jeffco employees present at the public Board Meeting standing by and doing nothing to stop the student from being publicly attacked and bullied, including Mr. McMinimee and Mr. Hess
- Julie Williams, a Board Member posting anti-LGBTQ hate group promotional material on her FaceBook page and then attacking any individuals who dared to write to her regarding their disapproval
- Communications Chief Pinto alleging a tweet about burritos was a racist comment when it was not
- Ms. Pinto attempting to disparage the 17 year old Jeffco student to the media, Columbine Courier, during the public school board meeting
- Ms. Pinto and Mr. Newkirk refusing to send original files/pictures of the screenshots showing student bullying following a request under CORA
- Mr. McMinimee publicly attacking, in writing, JCEA and CEA, and thus teachers, as destructive forces
- Mr. McMinimee hiring an unqualified candidate for Communications Chief despite a hiring committee informing him the candidate’s resume was not truthful, was extremely political and the candidate was unqualified
- Mr. McMinimee choosing to hire admitted politically biased candidates for communications work including the most recent marketing position
- Mr. Newkirk comparing charter school student funding to the treatment of African Americans prior to civil rights movement
- A Jeffco principal publicly disparaging Muslims
Certainly all individuals may choose their own politics, biases, and are partially protected by constitutional rights, but this list is growing rapidly and growing more offensive to the general public. Jeffco Schools used to, should, and needs to embrace diversity. With 700,000 residents in Jefferson County and more than 86,000 children being served by our schools, we have incredible diversity in this district. I would like to demand that Jeffco Public Schools immediately seek out expertise and training in supporting diversity and sensitivity and demand that all Jeffco Public Schools leadership be required to attend this training. I also respectfully request that this training occur regularly and be ongoing and frequent.
I am not asking for action against this principal but I am asking that a conversation take place and the insensitivity and inappropriateness of the content be addressed immediately.
A copy of the retweet is attached.
Mom of Morgan
Public School Advocate
“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone