Headlines – June 26, 2023 Por Jaijongkit
Judge Rules DPS Must Release Recording of Closed Board Meeting
A Denver District Court Judge has ordered the school board of Denver Public Schools to release the entire recording of a closed door meeting in which they decided to allow armed police to return to schools.
Six Colorado news outlets sued the school board alleging the March meeting violated Colorado’s open meetings law.
School board members met in a closed door session for five hours on March 23 in the wake of gun violence incidents that occurred at East High.
Just days before the closed door session, an East High student shot two faculty members and later took his own life.
Weeks earlier, another student died from gunshot wounds after he was shot in his car outside of the school.
During the closed meeting, the board adopted a temporary policy of bringing armed police officers back to the district’s schools.
Earlier this month, the board, by a vote of 4 to 3, voted to keep the policy in place.
Judge Andrew Luxen ruled that the board members did engage in substantial discussion of topics requiring public view and the board failed to provide public notice of their closed meeting.
A district spokesperson told Colorado Newsline that the school district plans on appealing the Judge’s decision.
Investigator Issues Report Into Formal Complaint Lodged by Former APS Superintendent
The Former Superintendent of Aurora Public Schools has lodged a formal complaint against the Aurora school board alleging racial bias was behind his discharge.
In a complaint filed earlier this month, Rico Munn, the district’s first Black superintendent, alleges he faced criticism from two Black school board members for not being “Black enough” and for not prioritizing the hiring of Black employees over other people of color.
According to the Aurora Sentinel, an external investigator’s report substantiated Munn’s claims and found racial bias in the decision to not renew his contract.
The investigator’s decision also sanctioned two board members, Stephanie Mason and Tramaine Duncan, for “unlawful race discrimination.” The report also highlighted that certain influential board members held discriminatory beliefs about Munn’s so-called ‘failure’ of conformity to racial stereotypes, leading to his discharge.
The decision letter recommended reprimanding and censuring Mason and Duncan, and mandated equal opportunity training for all board members. Munn stepped down as the superintendent at the end of 2022, and his contract expires at the end of this month.
Michael Giles, the current Assistant Superintendent of Equity, Culture, and Community Engagement at the Cherry Creek School District, will assume the role of the next Aurora Public Schools superintendent.
BVSD Settles Discrimination Lawsuit Started by White Family of an Elementary Student
Boulder Valley School District agreed last week to settle a discrimination lawsuit started by a white family who alleged the district mishandled bullying reports against their nine-year-old son who attended Whittier Elementary in Boulder.
As part of the settlement, BVSD agreed to pay the family $32,500 and remove the bullying investigation from the boy’s records, while the family agreed to dismiss all claims.
District officials said in a written statement that the settlement was not an easy decision as BVSD maintains it did nothing wrong and denies the family’s claims, but said the settlement will enable the school to start the new school year without the specter of litigation.
According to the Daily Camera, the family began their lawsuit in federal court after the principal determined that the plaintiffs’ son racially harassed two Black classmates. The parents of the boy say their son was physically attacked.
In a statement on social media, the mother of one of the classmates criticized the settlement by saying the district’s decision shows that white families can use the legal system to harass Black, Indigenous and Latino families and get paid for it.
Littleton and Superior Starbucks Workers Join Nationwide Strike in Support LGBTQIA+ Workers
Unionized Starbucks workers at stores in Littleton and Superior joined a nationwide unfair labor practice strike yesterday by demanding that Starbucks negotiate a fair contract.
Strike organizers allege the company is continuing its union-busting campaign that includes threatening worker access to benefits and refusing to put pride decor up at dozens of stores across the country during Pride month.
According to Workers United, since 2021 more than 300 Starbuck stores have voted to unionize, but none have reached a collective bargaining agreement with the company.
Among the decisions by the National Labor Relations Board, the agency’s judges have found that the company has broken numerous labor laws, including firing pro-union workers and threatening to rescind benefits if employees organized.
Company officials have repeatedly denied allegations by the unionized workers.
Boulder County Joins Public Transit Zero Fare Campaign For July and August
RTD is bringing back–and expanding–its Zero Fare for Better Air program. And Boulder County is building upon it.
Passengers will be able to ride RTD buses and light rail routes for free during July and August. The goal of the Zero Fare for Better Air campaign is to encourage new riders and limit ozone air pollution during the months when air quality is at its lowest. RTD piloted the program in August of last year.
Starting July 5th, Boulder County will also expand its Ride Free Lafayette and the Lyons Flyer services.
According to The Denver Post, RTD continues to struggle to find enough operators for both trains and buses. The shortage, in smaller capacity, extends to other departments in RTD.
Funding for the free fare initiative comes from grants authorized through state legislation passed in 2022.
Headlines – June 26, 2023 Por Jaijongkit