“If you are neutral in this, if you don’t take a stand, … overall it can have a waterfall impact.”, MORE: Training white people in Colorado to be “anti-racist” (not just “not racist”) is one step in the fight to correct historic wrongs. 2.2 Facebook Live Community Outreach • First time trying this form of outreach. Superintendent Smyser spoke about PSDs response to COVID-19 and stated staff are in close communication with the health department and county agencies, relying on experts in the community to advise the District. A copy of the district’s code of conduct says the district can suspend or expel students for conduct off school grounds. District officials said they cannot say, because of student privacy, whether any of the students involved in the posts were disciplined. The Fort Collins posts were quickly attacked as racist by peers on social media and both were removed soon after, although they have continued to circulate for weeks thanks to screenshots by others. Sarma, along with five other Fossil Ridge students, organized a rally in early July that was attended by about 200 people. “I definitely feel like I’m empowered,” Sarma said. Racist photos and videos have circulated among young people in Fort Collins and Monument, resulting in a flood of emails to school districts and demands for change, The Colorado Sun — 303-589-0175 She spoke out against racism and the group of students presented a list of demands for the district. We want everyone to know how proud we are and to remind everyone to stay postive. Email Fossil. Byrd recommends restorative justice programs within schools to deal with racist incidents and cultural insensitivity, and said high schools should require students to attend a code-of-conduct training as part of freshman orientation that includes discrimination and diversity training. This article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). Thanks for adding your voice. See why other supporters are signing, why this petition is important to them, and share your reason for signing (this will mean a lot to the starter of the petition). In the past few weeks, Curran has written multiple letters to the school district, the Fossil Ridge principal and the faculty leader of National Honors Society, a club to which some of the students in the videos belonged. “This type of act is not tolerated.”. “The community chose him.”. We want to thank the speakers, organizers, mentors, and volunteer health interns for helping make this event possible. The district, which is 84% white, does keep tabs on students’ social media posts to monitor potential bullying issues and check in on students’ mental health, Stephen said. Poudre School District Superintendent Sandra Smyser's rankings dropped in more than half of questions from last year. That’s kind of jarring.”. The youth-led activism comes in the weeks after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, and as Colorado and the rest of the country protests the death of another Black man, Elijah McClain, who died after Aurora police placed him in a carotid hold. But while Byrd said she has been impressed by white students who have acted as anti-racist allies, she is “reserving judgment” on whether recent protests against police brutality and racism will have long-lasting impact, even among young people. EAGLE, Colorado - The school district cut its French and German teachers, so students who want to take a foreign language besides Spanish will pay up to $150 per Poudre School District leaders and the community activist challenging the district's voter-approved $375 million bond issue both hope a judge will quickly sort out their differences. The students say, ‘I don’t want to be around this person.’ The school says, ‘We get that. It was clearly acrimonious, but I’m not sure she … “You start realizing stuff is broken and not working and that adults pretend they know what they’re doing and they don’t. 4 signed the petition to Sandra Smyser, Ph.D. Superintendent,Rocky mountain high school Principle :Craig Woodall Ended almost 7 years ago The people should sign this petition because we are trying to get military and help us become more successful in life and live better life styles and have better academics. The district, however, says Clawson’s original post was not on a district channel and that it does not control what teachers and staff post on their social media. A petition to address legal questions Sutherland posed throughout the election, filed by PSD on Dec. 9 and decided in PSD's favor March 10. He survived the Columbine massacre. “Young people are trying to figure out what their role in the world is,” she said. Students reached out to the school district on social media and by emailing the school board. Demand Sandra Smyser’s Resignation. Amber Wright, a rising junior at Palmer Ridge High School and the co-editor of The Bear Truth, the school’s news magazine and website, wrote an article about the Clawson post. Operations, PD&C, HR , Instructional teachers, Paras, Coaches, Bus drivers, Cafeteria workers, Management, Board of … “Our silence should not be mistaken as an endorsement and/or support of any discriminatory action in our community or our schools,” Smyser wrote. We just want to thank everyone for showing up today, they will hear our voices. For anti-racism to actually happen, people have to have a sustained effort for a long time. Steamboat Springs — The contract of Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich might not be renewed for the next school year. “I don’t even know if I believe the video circulating that caused the riots. For the youth leading the charge, the relentless demand for change and continued emails to school and community officials have marked their switch from being not just “not racist,” but anti-racist. By joining, or logging in via Facebook, you accept Change.org’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. ... Disney World workers petition to delay reopening of theme park. Hutchins’ year in review: Here’s what happened in Colorado’s media world in 2020, (720) 263-2338 — Call, text, Signal or WhatsApp. Petition details. Susan Gutowsky, Rob Petterson, and Carolyn Reed; Superintendent Sandra Smyser; Assistant Superintendents Edie Eckles, Jinger Haberer, and Todd Lambert; Executive Directors Don Begin, Danielle Clark, Pete Hall, Dave ... An e‐mail regarding the petition results will be sent to Board members. One close friend who used those words “as a joke” no longer does, after Curran questioned him about whether he knew their meaning and what they represented. The Larimer County Health Department will advise for any closure as well as reopening. “They are just so completely ignorant that they don’t see it as a problem or how it affects their peers,” she said. The district also announced it would begin diversity and inclusion training for staff in August, and that it will enhance its curriculum to incorporate more history of Black and Indigenous communities and people of color. Two of the teenagers in the photo were making the Nazi salute, raising an arm above their heads. Comments. DeAngelis was the principal of Columbine High School during the 1999 mass shooting there. Spread the word people of FRHS, and together, we can make a change for the better. He can never meet students, and is always showing off his political views to everyone, and he basically tries to manipulate the student population to his views. Students and parents on social media have called for Clawson to resign, and an online petition asking for him to be removed from the board had nearly 1,200 signatures when this story was published. Don’t let them get away with this.”. After being called out in social media posts, some of the students in the rapping video have apologized to Sarma and others, she said. Answer: Because you can't trust Avon's City Council to represent YOUR interests. Poudre School District's court victory last week wasn't enough to let the district move forward with its $375 million expansion plan, Superintendent Sandra Smyser said Tuesday. “That ignorance, if left unchecked, will turn into hatred.”. When he read about McClain, Curran said, he realized “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”. Avon Public Safety Officer “ Al Zepeda” stopped by Sunday afternoon to make sure traffic was flowing smoothly and safely for Petition … Superintendent Smyser thanked Poudre School District personnel for making the 2017-18 school year a success, from employees currently wrapping up the school year to those already finished. He can never meet students, and is always showing off his political views to everyone, and he basically tries to manipulate the student population to his views. About 115 miles south, in Monument, a Facebook vacation photo posted on the school board president’s page showing young people giving a Nazi salute has caused an uproar in the small, conservative town. Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was listed as "not voting.". Voters approved a $375 million bond issue, but legal challenges to the vote prevent Poudre from issuing bonds. Support independent, Colorado-owned journalism by joining The Colorado Sun. What are the community’s thoughts on the “early retirement” of Dr. Smyser? Elias immediately sent a message to her high school asking officials to review the Instagram account of another Fort Collins student after she saw the photo of the student kneeling on the neck of a black calf. A change.org petition with about 2,000 signatures asks for the resignation of Poudre Schools Superintendent Sandra Smyser, accusing her of supporting a culture where “students of color are not welcome or valued.” Other posts and emails to the district asked for the expulsion of the student in the calf photo. He changed after hearing what happened to McClain, who was killed by Aurora police while walking home in 2019. “I think for a while I was not racist, but I didn’t care that much because the problem didn’t really affect me,” the 17-year-old said. The People's Front of FRHS started this petition to Sandra Smyser and 1 other Mr. Allen is incompetent, political view busting millennial. Condemnation of the social media posts was swift and fierce, including demands for students’ expulsion from school, a student-led protest, a petition to dismiss the superintendent of Poudre School District and, in Monument, calls for the school board president to resign. Colorado gave schools reopening guidelines this week, but the state’s largest teacher's union says schools should operate remotely unless demands about safety and teacher input are met. Valley Re-1 Superintendent Jo Barbie will command $143,678in salary for 2008-09, an amount that should keep her among the state’s highest-paid school chiefs in small-sized districts.Meanwhile… In an apology posted to his Facebook page and the Lewis-Palmer School District 38 website, Clawson said “the photo was taken in children’s play and without awareness” although it “was nonetheless inappropriate and offensive.” He said he deleted the photo. Support local journalism around the state.Become a member of The Colorado Sun today! Too many off things about it and it doesn’t add up,” Kieser wrote in a since-deleted post, according to The Longmont Times-Call. Mr. Allen is incompetent, political view busting millennial. ... “PSD’s Sandra Smyser voices support, apologizes for tone of letter on teacher demonstrations,” Fort Collins Coloradoan, April 24, 2018, p. 1. There were many inaccurate statements and assumptions made about the meeting, its purpose and what was stated. I’m losing a lot of friends because I am speaking out. Strangers have told her to “go back to your country” despite the fact she was born at UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital, and peers — even friends — have made jokes that she smells like curry and that the reason she’s good at math is because she’s Indian. This includes directly interviewing sources and research / analysis of primary source documents. 55 votes, 46 comments. The Boulder chapter of the NAACP has called on Kieser to resign. A post shared by Students For Change (@studentsforchnge) on Jul 3, 2020 at 1:20pm PDT. Matoomba Munch. Gessica Getto, 17, Jaeda Rodriguez, 18, and Jordyn Rodriguez, 10, participate in a protest against police brutality in Old Town Fort Collins on Friday, June 5, 2020. by Clayton Moore Why Vote "NO" on Avon's January 2015 Ballot? • Most recent count indicates 1,100 out of 1,800 teachers plan to take Friday off. He began calling out friends — on social media and to their face — who used the n-word or homophobic slurs. One widely shared copy of the video included this comment:: “Email PSD. Those laws remain in effect, including a right to petition the Colorado Department of Labor for intervention and a right to strike if the issues are not resolved. Since the governor's announcement, many parents — including Holdridge and Derschon — have written to the Board of Education and Superintendent Sandra Smyser to express their frustrations. I’m very worried that it’s merely another explosion of energy.”. … Regan Byrd, a Denver anti-oppression consultant who trains adults and children, said schools need to make their curriculum more robust so that students learn about racial oppression. • Superintendent Smyser introduced the book “Influencer”, stated the book coincides with work being done by PSD leadership and offered the book for loan. He said the group hopes to meet with PSD Superintendent Sandra Smyser next week. “When somebody says, ‘I saw this on someone’s Instagram post, … what is the way we are going to resolve that?’ Maybe it’s not even about punishment.”, Instead, school leaders could say, “You are going to sit and listen to the students who were upset about the post,” Byrd suggested. Petition details. • Board members will read a resolution in support of teachers. Another video — one taken months ago and quickly removed from social media soon after — began circulating again among Fort Collins teens in recent weeks because someone had recorded the original post. Join The People's Front of FRHS and 12 supporters today. Many of those approached by the protesters would not sign the petition, but numerous accepted the flyers. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google. • Board will not have a retreat on October 10. “That is when I changed from being non-racist to anti-racist,” Curran said. She said she “knew this would be an important story” as soon as she heard about it, particularly in the midst of the reckoning on racial injustice sweeping the country. In Monument, a family member of school board President Matthew Clawson posted to Clawson’s profile a vacation photo showing a group of white children and teenagers wearing fake black mustaches. “The school has a different role to play. The district should improve its curriculum to make sure students are educated about racism and racial oppression before they graduate, she said. Thanks for adding your voice. More: Sandra Smyser, leader of Poudre School District, to retire; board seeks change in leadership Smyser will officially retire Jan. 8, … In an open letter to the community earlier this month, Smyser outlined a list of changes the district would make, including creating a “student equity coalition” that would receive training in anti-bias practices and restorative justice. Experts have recommended that schools develop restorative justice policies so that after racist incidents, students who said or posted discriminatory comments would have to sit and listen to those who were affected — a middle ground between no consequences and expulsion. We are trying to focus on reforming the education system.”. “Community members won’t soon forget this because it’s such a blatant act of racism in our community,” Wright said in an interview. In response, Poudre School District officials have held off doing any work on the proposed projects until Sutherland’s petition ran its course. Still, he said he believes the way forward is to educate those students, not to berate and embarrass them by calling them out by name at the student protest or by threatening them — as some have done — on social media. Lewis-Palmer High School student Ella Savage wrote on Instagram that she was “appalled but sadly not surprised” by the picture and asked for Clawson to resign. Updates. Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision, the district has announced that it will issue the general obligations bonds as soon as possible to fund several projects, including the … Updates. Evan Curran, another Fort Collins student who now considers himself an anti-racist ally, said he has never been a racist person but, up until a year ago, did not take action agaisnt other people’s racism. • Superintendent Smyser will read a statement regarding teacher walk out on Friday. There are … Elementary. It’s hard to do the right thing. jennifer@coloradosun.com, These are selected by the writer and confirmed by the editor, The video of a white high school student saying the n-word after pretending to choke his buddy is now known among Fort Collins youth as the “chokehold video.”. Sign the Petition to Sandra Smyser, Ph.D. Superintendent,Rocky mountain high school Principle :Craig Woodall With having this NROTC it will make the future leaders of today learn leadership responsibility self-discipline confidence in each other and them selves. Goodsell, an experienced superintendent who … “Then hold students accountable to that code of conduct,” she said. It spread like fire via Snapchat and Instagram — just like a photo a few weeks earlier of another white Fort Collins student who kneeled on the neck of a black calf, a cow the boy called “George” in the caption. Here’s what I learned. Another Fort Collins student, Anoushka Sarma, who is 17 and Asian Indian, said the recent Black Lives Matter protests have inspired her not just to join others marching the streets in Denver but to take action in her own community. Tired of "men" acting like women. Reasons for signing. Because when you have the right issue – and are standing up for Avon voters…IT’S EASY TO GET MORE THAN ENOUGH signatures! I just spent a year picking up bottles. “I don’t believe in cancel culture,” Curran said. The chokehold video rattled Sarma the most because she has gone to school with the boys in the video for years. It shows four white students riding in a car while rapping to a song and using the n-word. Students also should have “more ownership in policies that impact them,” she said, noting that a core principle in fighting oppression is that people who are impacted have a stake in the conversation. See why other supporters are signing, why this petition is important to them, and share your reason for signing (this will mean a lot to the starter of the petition). The school board last week appointed an interim superintendent to replace Shannon Goodsell, who had led the three-school elementary district since June 2018. It prepared him for the trauma of COVID-19. What would make you feel safe again? Parents are asking Twin Peaks Charter Academy board member Michelle Kieser to resign after she suggested on Facebook that the video of police officers killing George Floyd was fake. FACT: Avon's January 2015 (Special Election) is being held because of a "grass roots" Referendum/Petition organized by a few patriotic Avon (property … Comments. He is also weird, and frankly rude to all the times I have talked to him. 4 years ago. Poudre School District Superintendent Sandra Smyser is retiring from the district in January after 7½ years at its helm. The Poudre Schools superintendent, through a spokeswoman, declined an interview request from The Colorado Sun and the district said no one was available to talk about the district’s role in monitoring or taking action against students because of their social media accounts. The purpose of this letter is to provide clarification of the Editorial Board's view stated in the March 23, 2008, issue of the newspaper. Racially insensitive social media posts have led to calls for the resignation of another school board member elsewhere in the state. Bacon; Bauder; Beattie; Bennett; Bethke; Cache La Poudre; Dunn; Eyestone; Harris “Middle school and high school students are ready for complicated conversations about how racial oppression works,” she said. 0; “We have been here in the past several times, and that energy fades after about six months or after about a year. Reasons for signing. For the second time in two years, Country Club Hills School District 160 has parted ways with its superintendent mid-school year. On Edge: With family missing in Ethiopia’s civil war, Denver woman says her ‘mind is the hardest place to be’. Evansville School District administrator announces retirement “He’s a volunteer and he’s elected,” District 38 spokeswoman Julie Stephen said. Colorado's U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, voted in favor of the veto override. “High schoolers need to push back” and tell administrators, “This is harming myself and other students.”. It made her and other students of color feel unsafe, she said. (Valerie Mosley/Special to the Colorado Sun), Primary category in which blog post is published, How to submit an opinion piece to The Sun, Learn more about Civil’s Credibility Indicators, In a first, Congress overrides Donald Trump’s veto of defense bill. “I want to speak up about my experiences, and I know it’s the right thing to do. A change.org petition with about 2,000 signatures asks for the resignation of Poudre Schools Superintendent Sandra Smyser, accusing her of supporting a culture where “students of color are not welcome or valued.” Other posts and emails to the district asked for the expulsion of the student in the calf … “I was extremely impressed that they used their voice and that they took it to the school board,” Stephen said. District 38 posted Clawson’s apology on its website and social media channels. Translate / Traducción / 번역 / 翻译 / ترجمة. As a news piece, this article cites verifiable, third-party sources which have all been thoroughly fact-checked and deemed credible by the Newsroom in accordance with the Civil Constitution. What would make you trust this school community again?’”, Byrd said it makes sense that young people are some of the loudest voices in the Black Lives Matter movement and that in some towns, high schools are ground zero for change. The anxieties of 2020 in the U.S. amplified in November, when Millete Birhanemaskel's family members went missing when their home region was bombed by the Ethiopian government. by Clayton Moore Why are these Avon Petition “circulators” smiling? The People's Front of FRHS needs your help with “Sandra Smyser: Fire Will Allen”. “I don’t think that’s the way to go. MORE: Denver’s Black students are raising their voices to redesign the curriculum, ensure their history is taught. “I don’t have enough evidence,” she said. 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