(COLORADO SPRINGS) — More than 60 people signed up to voice their concerns at the board of education meeting for Academy District 20 on Thursday.
“We’re waiting for the Academy District 20 school board meeting. There was some information that came out earlier this week that was carried by a parent,” said Erin Stevens, Co-Chair for Defense of Democracy. “And it was a little bit disturbing about the LGBTQ community. And so there’s just going to be a large presence here tonight of people that are concerned about some of the rhetoric that’s going on, especially with what happened with Club Q.”
Stevens refers to information revealed from the Colorado Freedom of Information Act (CORA) request. The CORA request contained details from a meeting on Sept. 15 that suggested segregating LGBTQ students.
The request details Don Spano, former Challenger Middle School teacher, proposing “the idea of an LBTQ/transgender environment and ‘that type of belonging’ could send their kids to a school where there are teachers and admin who believe the same.”
Before the meeting began a long line began to form of community members who wanted to address the board.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, speakers were called up and given two minutes to voice their opinions to the board.
“I am just frustrated that this is even a thing and that we’re talking about this in 2022,” said Stevens. “I think that we need to let people live their lives and be who they are. And if people are uncomfortable, then they can go somewhere else. These are kids. This is a public school. And, you know, there are other choices.”
Some speakers read excerpts, letters, and one individual rapped his version of the 12 days of Christmas.
Several topics were discussed throughout the meeting including policy on transgender bathrooms, banned books, and supporting the LGBTQ community.
“Our group standard is simple, that kids should use the bathroom of their birth gender,” said Brian Moody, Chairman of Advocates for D-20 Kids.”
Moody stated Advocates for D-20 Kids does not support the idea of segregating LGBTQ students.
“We don’t back that idea. It’s a bad idea. And it’s disingenuous, “said Moody. “The chaos and controversy that’s been created over this because it’s not an idea that we’ve ever supported.”
Outside of the meeting, the lobby was filled with community members who could not be inside.
When looking to the future, Stevens said, “what I hope comes out of this is that the district is able to denounce this behavior and stop talking about having transgender policies or LGBTQ policies.”