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Letter from Parent to Jeffco School Board -- Don't Tread on Me

The following is an Open Letter to the Jeffco School Board in Colorado originally posted on the Support Jeffco Kids web site. Where appropriate and where I knew of places to link information, I've added HyperLinks. In fact, all the hyperlinks are mine so do not blame them on the author of this letter or believe that she agrees with the juxtaposed information or any conclusions the matchup may bring to mind. -- Glenn Hefley



Letter Begins:

What all the media is missing is that these 3 majority board members have continually forced every decision with their majority vote down the throats of this community and continue to ignore us, so we have no reason to trust that they would do the right thing this time.  We all watch their friends at board meetings, organizing themselves into groups, names not matching the sign-up, repeated voices and most of these “friends” that Mr. Witt clearly recognizes and addresses by name don’t even have kids in our schools.  This is evident even on the LiveStream.


 It seems to me that so many issues in our district could have been avoided by the Board of Education just taking the time to listen, tell the truth, and do their jobs instead of making every single thing about their own one-side political views, which don’t belong in schools.
I don’t yet have a student in AP History class but I want the class available to my kids.  In fact, I love that my child will be able to benefit with college credit while I pay a couple hundred dollars rather than thousands.  Does the board know that this is an elective course?  Does the board know that we pay for this course out of our own pockets?  How does my financial support of this class become their concern?  That is intrusive government right there!  I WANT IT, plain and simple.  I WANT IT FOR MY CHILD, it’s that easy.  I need it in two years and it had better be available!  I pay taxes to our schools to have choices like this available!
 AP History, and all AP classes are electives, so anyone who wants to follow the Republican National Committee and Tea Party opposition rhetoric has the option of not taking the class.  Why would someone who is supposed to be acting in the best interests of children (NOT the best interests of a political party) even think about questioning curriculum content on this subject that must be approved by the college board?  One other thing for those saying that the new class curriculum cuts out some portions of history they want highlighted – THERE ARE OTHER HISTORY CLASSES THAT LEAD TO THE AP CLASS!  You don’t study all of American history in one single class! And why in the world is controversial Texas even a conversation in Jefferson County, Colorado?
 We have been through the health curriculum and we had no problem with the Growing and Changing unit offered to students, which can also be opted out of by parents.  No teacher used any inappropriate materials or conduct though it was insinuated on Ms. Williams’ Facebook page.  I’d rather my children learn from me and a teacher rather than get their sex education from other 5th graders on a the playground at recess.
 I’ve seen the content on Board Member Julie Williams’ Facebook page, we even have some mutual friends.  There are so many posts about liberals and Ms. Williams just lets it all go on without ever acknowledging that Jeffco has an extremely diverse population and so many parents don’t agree with her political views.  Apparently she’s not serving the schools as a Board member for more than her own political gain and skewed views.  I’ve heard her use the word “educrats” at formal board meetings – derogatory and uneducated, Ms. Williams!  I wanted to find out what happens at the tea party meetings and when I saw that she would be speaking, I went and personally heard her speak at one.  Her speech was out of left field and about other people and politics, never about our kids.  As a school board member, shouldn’t you include kids at some point in your speech?
 I’m admittedly another of the “conservatives” in Jeffco but these board members don’t even come close to speaking for me or my family.  If these board members have questions about curriculum, they should go seek the answers.  They have no business appointing their skewed committee where every board member nominates 3 and then the majority pushes through their favorites, not allowing any real voices of parent or parents who might have differing views to be present.  What about the educational experts for the committee?  That wasn’t even brought up by the majority three!
Why does this board need so many new committees?  Why does this board need to change who is represented on all the committees?  Why does this board complain about every single existing committee?  Why does this board need their own attorney who appears to sit and do nothing at every single meeting?  The attorney is certainly not advising Mr. Witt on his blunders to parliamentary procedure and conduct.  This is a political game and a waste of taxpayer dollars that should be going to our kids!  And I am so sick of Mr. Witt and his gavel!
 We have lost nearly every executive leader in Jeffco at this point.  This board has ensured that no one truly qualified in leadership would even want to step foot into Jeffco Schools for employment.  Sure, we get applicants, but who in their right mind would want to have their career tied to this district if they intended to stay in education?  Start wondering about those taking these jobs now. 
 We’ve all seen the abundance of media on the subject, nationally. While Ken Witt and Dan McMinimee keep telling everyone that it’s not a “done deal” and John Newkirk tells parents to “chill,” the community has no reason to believe them.  This board majority has continued to ram through their wishes, ignoring public comment, reducing public comment, cutting out the voices of 2 other board members, and listening to their own party rhetoric and only the views of those closely aligned with them.  We’ve watched the continually changing LinkedIn pages and everyone I talk to no longer believes anything you have to say or write. 
 Hint to the Board majority – when you get so much correspondence that you can’t even respond to it all – you’re (words omitted by editor) the community!  Hint to the Board majority – when students walk out, it’s not because of the union, the students have PARENTS who are upset with you, too!  Hint to the Board majority – admit that you got into this for the wrong reasons and get out!  Schools are not the place for you!  Let our schools be run by those who have the real educational background to do the job.  Let our voices be heard as parents and advocates for our children.  Let our teachers do their jobs with no intimidation and continued fear tactics!
 STOP wasting taxpayer money!
STOP avoiding Transparency and START telling the truth and conducting your business openly!
START being accountable to the ENTIRE community – not just your political friends!

Dear Board Majority, you might understand this better:

DON’T TREAD ON ME!


Myra Armstrong

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