A Colorado school district was forced to cancel classes on Thursday after teachers called out sick. None of the teachers were in fact sick, they called out to protest decisions made by the district’s conservative school board. The Douglas County School District was forced to put out an announcement on its website that a “large number” of staff submitted absences for Thursday and all classes across the district’s schools were canceled. “We have reached the point where the number of absences has impacted our ability to provide a safe and supervised learning environment for students,” the alert said. This has become all too common across the USA, school boards and districts have become political battlegrounds for culture war topics.
Colorado Teachers Protesting Conservative School Board
A spokesperson for Douglas County Federation, a local affiliate union of the American Federation of Teachers, says the Colorado teacher’s protests have been organized out of concern over the school board. In November, four seats on Douglas County’s school board were up for grabs in an election. Fundraising for four conservative Douglas County candidates in the 2021 elections exceeded contributions made during the district’s 2017 elections by a lot. Now the four candidates, Mike Peterson, Becky Meyers, Christy Williams, and Kaylee Winegar all sit on the seven-person board In last year’s elections, the quartet was supported by the conservative 1776 Project PAC, a national group that says it’s actively trying to stop critical race theory from being taught in classrooms.
Why Are Colorado Teachers Protesting Conservative School Board?
One of the many concerns Colorado teachers have is the decision from the new conservative members to give Corey Wise, superintendent of Douglas county Colorado, an ultimatum to either resign or be fired. The school board also rejected a mask mandate late last year. Along with the protest from Colorado teachers, there is also a planned protest against the conservative-majority school board on Thursday afternoon at the district’s headquarters in Castle Rock, just south of Denver.
Colorado School Boards Become Political Battlefields
Colorado Schools have become the focal point for culture wars as many positions have been taken up by conservative activists. Conservative grassroots activists have zeroed in on local education policy, spanning debates about reopening, how to teach U.S. history and masking. Now, conservative activists are urging followers to run for school board seats. This has caused many Leftists to protest while dozens of activist groups focused on schools have sprouted to run against conservatives.
The influence of the effort of conservatives can be seen at nearly all levels of school administration. State legislators have passed bills to restrict what can be taught. Longtime operators in the education world say they’ve never seen anything like it. “Normally, our kids have been off-limits,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the country’s largest unions. “We had tension over Common Core. There was tension over other issues. But in modern history, since the huge desegregation battles, kids have been off-limits. Now, they are the battlefield.” Do you think a healthy dose of politics could be good for the school boards? Do you agree with conservatives taking an active part in building the future of America?