Partisan Opposition to Reform-Minded DougCo Board Continues in Wake of Election

November 12, 2013
Hours after voters elected four reform candidates to the Douglas County School District board, the reformers vowed to work on unifying the district after a divisive election

The reform-oriented DougCo School Board has vowed to work on unifying the district after a divisive election

DENVER – Hours after voters elected four reform candidates to the Douglas County School District board, the reformers vowed to work on unifying the district after a divisive election. That might be an uphill battle – given that the spurned union-backed contenders and some of their supporters are launching more “aggressive” attacks.

Barbra Chase-Burke lost her race to conservative Jim Geddes, but instead of conceding the race and congratulating Geddes, she issued an email Monday threatening “aggressive” action in protest of the election outcome.

“We have lost/will continue to lose our best and brightest teachers due to the result of this DCSD School Board election,” asserted Chase-Burke (who campaigned as Chase).

“Please reply to this email if you are planning to stay and fight as we are working on an aggressive PLAN B,” declared Chase. “We need more of you to STAND UP and give your time (no $$ needed) in order to be successful.”

“Nothing is more important for your kid’s education if you want to keep them in their existing schools,” said Chase, adding that she and her husband Sean Burke believe “education is CRITICAL for our children’s future success.”

In the same email, Chase seemed to laud a student “sit-in” last Friday morning at ThunderRidge High School. She described, “Juniors & Seniors standing quietly in the hallways during 2nd period (and) refusing to go to class in silent protest.”

The so-called “sit-in” might have been initiated by a few students, but it was also promoted by some parents and former DCSD teachers in numerous tweets.

“I have proposed a Student Walk Out!!” tweeted Cassandra Kramer, identified as “hottiemom24” on Twitter. “DCSD Students & Parents do not need to take this!!”

Brian White, a former ThunderRidge High School social studies teacher who left the district after facing widespread scrutiny for what some said was inappropriate class time politicking, jumped on the “Down With DCSD” insurrection bandwagon.

“DougCo students take a stand,” urged White in a tweet. “Make our voices heard. Sit in after 2nd (period) at the upper main hallway.”

The idea had been bounced around the day after the Nov. 5 election. For example, a student identified as Chris Thompson tweeted, “I honestly think we should go on strike and not go to school because what is going on in our district is completely unfair.”

Voters elected the conservative reform slate of candidates Doug Benevento, Meghann Silverthorn, Judi Reynolds and Geddes. Union-endorsed candidates Bill Hodges, Ronda Scholting, Julie Keim and Chase lost their races by several thousand votes.

The election sparked a series of bitter and angry emails, tweets and Facebook comments from the progressive sector that supported the union-backed challengers. Some folks claimed they were moving out of the school district, others predicted teachers would leave.

“I love some of my kids’ teachers too and some of their favorites have left already,” wrote Kramer.

“Teachers can follow the lead and walk out with students, and it would be in their best interests,” added Kramer. “This district can’t fire them all, then where would they be and then how more shitty would that look to the world that is watching DougCo??”

Others have noted that there were numerous applicants for every teaching position open in the school district this year.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

8 Responses to Partisan Opposition to Reform-Minded DougCo Board Continues in Wake of Election

  1. Bob Terry
    November 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Condescending in Victory and Ungracious in defeat … Wow and what a position you show toward as well as an example, to the students … I don’t know did not the people of Douglas County speak at the Ballot Box NO to Hodges, Scholting, Keim and Chase .. NO to Amendment 66 … As for the “silent protest” …well when I was in school …when they taught and commanded respect..You would be told ..get to class or you will be released, as an unexcused absence ..and possible your parents will be informed as well …Well another good example when the parents are in on this too … No responsibility and let’s show that.. Hey Boys n Girls welcome to the real world …protest yer asses off …see how that works..pays your way .. ya know it won’t..and until the nickel falls …you’ll be out of job ..on the Government dole ..till the money runs out …

    Hey you can go on the corners and protest and go with the 99% and shut down Highlands Ranch .. like that really made and impact other making them look S T U P I D ….did I spell that correctly ???

    And teachers want to come to work here.!!! LOL well liberals … speak to that … maybe they want to TEACH, SUCCEED, and be HORROR!!! rewarded for performance

  2. Brian Nelson
    November 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Does anyone else find it repulsive that children are being used political pawns?!?

  3. Robyn Parker
    November 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I would like to ask student Chris Thompson – or any of those students who participated in the 2nd period protest – exactly what they think is unfair and see how well they can articulate their argument.
    Facts can be so inconvenient to an argument at times.

  4. gman68137
    November 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Wow. Chase says education is critical, so advocates for students to dodge education and parents to disrupt school to protest?!?! I guess it’s not really about the students.

  5. Steve
    November 13, 2013 at 5:45 am

    A bunch of spoiled petulant babies that think they are entitled to a job on their terms. Reality, meet indignant Liberal. Liberal, meet real-world Reality.

  6. CO_Patriot
    November 13, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Typical liberal behavior. Do you recall the “we won, get over it” after the 2012 election? More of the same. And such a great example for the kids. Where are these parents’ parents. It starts with them, and now it goes on generation to generation. If life without a union is SOOO bad for them, they are free to leave (and good riddance!).

  7. Emcee
    November 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Just curious how many of you who responded to this article have children in a Douglas County School?

  8. November 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    remember when, way back in time, liberals were known as “knee-jerks” spouting canned responses to real issues? Take a close look in the mirror folks. There’s a reason so many conservatives have abandoned the GOP ship. Including me. And how uninformed you are on this particular matter. I suppose it’s from buying the bullshit fed to you by the monied baggers who (why can’t you see this for what it is?) are in this for profit at the expense of the kids. Fact: there was no liberal influence in the progressive candidate support group. They were comprised of dems/reps/liberals/conservatives. Fact: The union wasn’t behind this. Any “influence” they had, had absolutely nothing to do with the grass roots efforts. Parents aren’t naive. They see what the “reform” has done. Teachers want to be held accountable and have no problem with pay for performance – just not with a very broken evaluation system administered by a bunch of heavy handed “reformers”. Kids aren’t stupid. They are upset because they’ve lost great teachers. They are upset because they don’t want to be tested out the ass just to pad pocket books of corporations. They are upset because they know the rigor and instruction time is missing (and don’t blame budget matters). They are upset because they see a majority of their remaining teachers crying as a result of the horrific leadership on the board over the last few years. Why kids to sit-in? Think that’s all the parents’ and teachers’ doing? Please. Teachers can’t, and won’t sit in or out. Why? They aren’t union thugs. They know it would hurt the kids and damage reputations. They care. Yes. They care. More than many of you will ever know – unlike the “reformers” who can’t get past their own narcism or outside their shell. Get in there and see it for yourself. listen. spend time in the classrooms and do so with open minds. Then expose even more ignorance if you dare come back on here with more knee-jerk speak. Or, conversely, keep listening to others who tell the lemmings how to “think”.


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