As you all know by now, classes at Standley Lake High School and Conifer High School were cancelled on Friday. We’ve been asked for our position on this by many. Rather than individual responses, we’re responding to everyone here, formally.
Support Jeffco Kids was not involved in the planning or organizing of these events and had not received information on them prior to them happening. As we had nothing to do with the events, we neither condone nor condemn the activity.
We understand the immense frustration within the community. We understand the deep concern and frustrations from both parents and teachers who are repeatedly attempting to have conversations and reason with our Board of Education Members and having their voices ignored. We share that frustration. We share the frustration that our Board of Education majority is making uninformed decisions without attending committees, taking advice from professional staff, and ignoring community surveys and other input.
We share the frustration that not all members of the Board of Education are included in conversations and the repeated issues of transparency. We share the frustration that our Board Members seem not to understand their true accountability to the community.
We are aware that there are more reports of student organized walk-outs occurring in the coming week.
While we neither condone nor condemn these actions, we do want to relay a few items of concern. We have heard from some of our Jeffco students and their parents and we admire these students who want to join in the conversation about the content of their classes and for the benefit of future students. We also admire and appreciate their support for our teachers and all they have endured for the past many months.
We want to ensure that students participating in any of these events have the permission and support of their parents to do so. We want to ensure that our students are safe if they are not under the direct care of our Jeffco staff.
We know that hundreds of individuals within our community are writing to the Board of Education and appreciate those of you who have shared your letters with us and our readers. We know that the Board Secretary, John Newkirk, has notified individuals over the weekend that the volume regarding the proposed curriculum committee resolution is so high that he cannot respond to everyone individually and that he informed the writers of these letters of their need to “chill.” We strongly disagree. We believe that engaged parents should always remain involved and speak out when they feel something is wrong and not beneficial to our children. The Board has given parents and teachers no reason to “chill” but instead has prompted the writing of these hundreds of letters – in fact, more letters received in a few months than previously in an entire year of Jeffco Schools. Perhaps Mr. Newkirk should advise the members of the Board of Education to “chill.” Take a step back and stop ramming through changes, stop adding more meetings to the calendar, stop adding agenda items at the last minute, stop wasting taxpayer dollars and start listening to the community. Show some true accountability.
We still have no real information as to what may or may not occur in the coming days, weeks, or months. We do know that the Board of Education majority’s continued lack of transparency, accountability, and waste of taxpayer money is the root cause of the tension within our community.
Due to the way the Jeffco Schools Board of Education is structured, the Board is set up to monitor themselves – with censure ability. Our only recourse at this point in time is to continue to use our voices. Keep writing those letters, perhaps our Board will “chill.”