COLORADO SPRINGS — One week after posting a transphobic meme, which many community members, students, and constituents found to be wildly inappropriate, Colorado Springs District 11 Board of Education Vice President Jason Jorgenson issued an official apology.
The meme showed a trans person, hooked up to an ultrasound machine, which projected an image of fecal matter. The text read: “When you transgender and you think you pregnant…”
Sent via email on Friday, Jorgenson wrote, in part:
“I was not thinking about how the impact of this meme would affect various people groups in our community, it was posted in haste and was distasteful for many. I had folks from both viewpoints on this topic, as well as students and my constituents reach out to me. I did not carry myself well with this post and it is unbecoming of a person in my position to post on such a topic in the manner in which I did. I did not lead by example here and I know I negatively impacted certain people in our community, I am sorry.”
The post in question appeared on Jorgenson’s Facebook Stories a week earlier, just one day after Rev. Al Loma, a director serving the same board, issued an apology regarding memes and articles he’d posted online, which spread misinformation regarding the coronavirus and the legitimacy of vaccines.
When initially questioned by FOX21 News, Jorgenson wrote:
“I’ll be brief. I apologize that something that was posted on my personal page was found to be offensive to some. I’ll be mindful of such postings in the future. I’d be far more interested in hearing on how your news coverage can bring our community together and how we can partner in bringing about increased awareness to a much bigger concern. Our primary focus must be on student academics and our goals of catching up our kids after this horrible pandemic.”
At that time, Board President Parth Melpakam, citing the board’s operating manual, shared the following steps to be taken following board member misconduct. They are:
- Voluntary Apology
- In rare cases, counseling by other Board Members in private or in executive session
- Board initiated reprimand
“The first two are happening (at least the private counseling part),” Melpakam wrote, without specifying which board member(s) were participating in that process. “I am happy to initiate the third if a majority on the Board approach me with that request. It is Board Action. The above 3 is the entirety of steps detailed in the Board Operating Manual for a publicly elected official put into office by the citizens of this county.”
Despite the apology Loma wrote to the board and the private counseling he appears to have received, per Melpakam’s note, he continues to violate board standards by posting misleading information on the Coronavirus pandemic.
On Feb. 18, the same day Jorgenson issued his own apology, Loma posted an article detailing an “international grand jury” said to be investigating “COVID-19 crimes against humanity.” Along with the article, Loma wrote this caption: “#VerySimple .. the pandemic is a lie.”
But fact-checkers have disputed the existence of this grand jury and investigation. They say the claim originally appeared on BitChute, which posts content that has been banned by YouTube.
You can find additional information on the COVID-19 Pandemic here.
The D11 Board of Education will convene for a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. If you cannot attend, you will be able to stream the meeting here.
If you would like to speak during the public comment period during Wednesday’s meeting, you will need to sign-up here. Please note the sign-up link will not become active until Wednesday.
The D11 BOE operates separately from D11 school district administration.