Reclaiming Our Schools!

I’ve been called a union thug, a union shill, and a union sympathizer.  I suppose the expectation from opponents is that my reputation is somehow besmirched through the simple fact that I support the recall of Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams.  Somehow, my name should be sullied because I am one of the thousands of parents who have taken a stand against a board who has repeatedly violated district board policies and state Sunshine Laws to achieve their agenda by any means necessary.

They repeatedly claim that the recall is “union led”, and “union organized,” but to do so ignores some key facts:

  • If this was about the union, dozens of talented administrators wouldn’t have left for other districts or left education.

  • If this was about the union, thousands of students wouldn’t have walked out of class to protest Julie Williams attempt to censor AP US History. We wouldn’t be a laughingstock across media outlets across the country.

  • If this was about the union, dozens of students wouldn’t have protested Julie Williams hateful anti-LGBTQ Facebook post.

  • If this was about the union, you wouldn’t have seen thousands of parents standing side-by-side with teachers and students all along Wadsworth – Three different times.

  • If this was about the union, students and parents wouldn’t have written letters and spoke publicly about overcrowded schools and the need for new schools in Northwest Arvada that were ignored.

  • If this was about the union, we wouldn’t have watched the visibly biased and tainted process selecting new District Accountability Committee members.

  • If this was about the union, we wouldn’t have watched Witt, complicit with Newkirk, publicly humiliate a student at a board meeting.

  • If this was about the union, we wouldn’t have witnessed the innumerable incidents of Ken Witt patronizing and denigrating fellow board members in public view.

  • If this was about the union, we wouldn’t have seen over 1,000 parents volunteering countless hours over the summer to request signatures on recall petitions.

  • If this was about the union, we wouldn’t have over 37,000 signatures on each of the board member’s petitions – in 17 days.

Here’s a little quick math.  There are roughly 4,000 teachers who are members of the JCEA.  Even if we assume that all 4,000 signed the petition (they didn’t), parents, businessman, and community members outnumbered union signatures 8-to-1.  No. This isn’t about the union.  This is about the community reclaiming their school district from outside money, interests and agendas.  This is about putting parents and children at the forefront of education.  This is about shining the brightest light on deceitful and unethical tactics to push an agenda at any costs and changing the current environment of hostility to one of collaboration and cooperation.

I’ve been called many names by recall opponents: union thug, union shill, union pawn, moron and others that can’t be printed over the last couple of years.  These names mean nothing to me.  The ones that do matter – dad, husband, son, brother, friend and leader – are the reasons why I will continue to stand up.

It’s easy to make “the union” into the convenient scapegoat, the boogeyman for opposing the recall.  However, when you do so, you ignore the tens of thousands of moms and dads, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, friends and leaders who don’t belong to “the union.”  You can continue to ignore all of us at your peril, because we all vote.