(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — The lawn outside of the Academy School District 20 building was filled with over 30 parents, teachers and students in protest of a video taken of the board president back in July.
“There is a video going around… that has the president, Tom LaValley speaking against teachers,” said protester and D20 parent, Angelica Givler.
Protesters said in the video LaValley is asking parents to find “objectionable materials” in the schools and to say something if they see it.
“As both a parent and teacher… that says find your friend and go harass and bully teachers,” Givler said.
Other parents questioned the act of censoring materials in schools and taking things out.
“There are people going into schools and pulling books from the shelves that have existed for a long time,” said D20 parent, Erin Stevens. “Some of which has been checked out zero times… one time. And now time and money is being spent on these book hearings.”
Those attending Thursday’s board meeting said LaValley wants to give more rights to parents.
“Thomas LaValley mentioned honoring parental rights and saying that if parents have concerns with anything going on in the classroom, that they should pursue that in a way that’s respectful,” said Joel Sorensen, vice chair of the Advocates for D-20 Kids.
Those for the school board added this isn’t about politics.
“Our fundamental goal is to have politics not in the classroom. And I think most teachers are on board with that,” Sorensen said.
Prior to this, LaValley released a statement about the video.
“I want to say to any teachers, principals or other employees who watched the video I made this past July that my intent was simply to encourage parents to be involved. I never intended to upset or offend anyone. Teachers are the backbone of this district and I have nothing by respect and admiration for each of them.”