Neetu Chandak, DCNF
A man was escorted out of a Colorado school board meeting Thursday for naming a teacher who called the wrong Covington Catholic boy part of the “Hitler Youth” on a now-deleted Twitter account.
Mountain Ridge Middle School seventh-grade history teacher Michelle Grissom allegedly named and posted a picture of Covington Catholic student Jay Jackson as one of the boys wearing Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats in Washington, D.C. Jackson was not in Washington with his peers, who were confronted by American Indian activist Nathan Phillips.
“I can’t imagine what drove a teacher to make comments online that were hateful and bigoted, slanderous and vilifying,” parent Aaron Johnson said Thursday. “Now we’re all left picking up the pieces she broke.”
Johnson elaborated to The Daily Caller News Foundation over the phone that Grissom’s actions makes the entire school community look bad.
John Jackson, the father, asked Grissom several times to take down the tweet relating his son to “Hitler Youth.” The post was taken down only after John Jackson contacted the Douglas County Schools.
Johnson was asked to leave after mentioning Grissom by name, according to the video.
“We’ve been very explicit about no names being mentioned in our board meetings, so at this point you are out of order and would ask that you would cease your comment, given that you have violated the expectation that no names be mentioned in a slanderous way,” board member David Ray said.
The district’s board meeting policy, obtained by TheDCNF from Douglas County Schools public information officer Paula Hans, asks speakers to “refrain from using individual names in an offensive matter.”
Johnson said the intention of going to the podium was to have the district reassess their social media policy. He said he was not aware of the school board policy on names and believes it is implemented selectively.
A woman who had school officials’ names on a sign was cautioned by Ray about using names at the Jan. 8 board meeting, but was not kicked out.
I pulled up video of the last board meeting. Where this woman waved signs criticizing specific people. She was reminded of the rule but permitted to stay. She then turned and lit into someone in the audience by name (apparently a staff member). She was allowed to finish. pic.twitter.com/ITLej6lXNi
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) January 25, 2019
“I, and many other residents have been denied our request to speak during the public comment period prior to tonight’s Board meeting,” Ted Harvey, a former Republican State Senator for Colorado, said to TheDCNF prior to Thursday’s meeting. “As a taxpaying citizen of Douglas County, I find this denial by David Ray, the President of the School Board, rather offensive.”
“The board president is responsible for directing speakers to confine their remarks to the agenda item for which they have signed up to speak,” Ray said in a statement obtained by TheDCNF. “Further, the policy states that since the board’s responsibility is setting policy for the school district, members of the public should direct their comments to policy matters. It is District policy not to hear, in public session, personal complaints against any district personnel.”
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