Tay Anderson says he won’t resign from Denver public school board

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Denver Public Schools Board Member Tay Anderson insisted on Friday he would not resign as school board members were to begin deliberations on whether to censor him over the issue. an investigation which, according to them, “reveals the unworthy behavior of a member of the council”.

Investigators found that Anderson flirted online with a 16-year-old girl before learning her age, but also found that the more serious accusations – that Anderson sexually assaulted DPS students – were not founded.

Anderson, 23, who has claimed his innocence since the first allegations were released in March, stood alongside members of the NAACP and the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance on Friday outside the main office of Denver Public Schools and a declared that he would remain at his post.

“I will not resign,” Anderson told a mixed crowd of supporters and protesters calling for his impeachment. “I will remain on the board until 2023, and we will continue the work that we started in 2019. And on that note, I think it’s time for us to move towards a vote of no confidence to watch the high- lynching. tech that has happened in the last six months. Let’s go. “

Anderson’s remarks came just before the school board began deliberating whether to censor him based on the findings of an almost 6-month investigation sparked by allegations he sexually assaulted students of the DPS.

The results were released on Wednesday in a heavily drafted 96-page report, along with a board statement that called his behavior “improper of a board member.”

Beside him was a person holding a sign that read: “DPS will shut you up after wasting money to find nothing!” “

The investigation cost DPS $ 105,449.63, KDVR television reported.

Before Anderson’s remarks, Jeanna Hoch, a relative of the DPS, started a verbal feud with her supporters.

“He intimidates women,” Hoch said through a megaphone, while holding a sign saying “Mr. Anderson, please resign.” He intimidates the community.

“It is not a question of race,” she added.

Anderson’s supporters responded, calling her a fanatic, while a few other protesters joined with Hoch in calling for her to step down.

Anderson and his supporters tried to speak over their chants.

Bishop Jerry Demmer, president of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, called the Anderson investigation a “witch hunt.”

“We have a problem when people come together and they come together and say, ‘We’re going to come together and all stand on lies. We will stand together against the lies, ”said Demmer. “It is a problem.”

The report, supplemented by Investigations Law Group, found the most serious charges against Anderson to be unfounded, but said Anderson had engaged in “flirtatious social media contact” with a DPS student. 16 years after his election to the board of directors, and that he posted threatening messages on social media during the investigation. Anderson told investigators he was unaware the girl was underage and cut off communications with her when he learned of her age. The investigation did not reveal any further evidence of improper conduct with her.

But the investigation found it was “more likely than not” that in 2018, before being elected to the school board, he made sexually unwelcome comments and advances towards board members and associates. directors of Never Again Colorado, a student organization at the University of Denver.

MORE: Read the full Investigations Law Group report, here.

Anderson, who graduated from Manual High School in 2017, was employed by DPS at the time, but investigators found no connection between his work for the district and his participation in Never Again Colorado.

The investigation found no evidence to support claims that he sexually assaulted 62 DPS students. The allegations were made by a relative of the DPS during testimony before state lawmakers in May, but the report called into question his credibility.

The report highlighted the sensitivity of the investigation in light of the fact that Anderson is a black man and the history of racism in the country, including “false accusations of sexual assault against black men, often founded. on the allegations of white women ”.

“Director Anderson, his supporters and others have said the allegations behind this process were racially motivated,” the report said. “This situation involves a young black man publicly accused by a white woman ostensibly speaking on behalf of non-white victims. Principal Anderson is the only black man on the Board of Education. As such, race is a context that cannot be ignored in this case. “

Anderson, the only black member of the school board, helped lead social justice protests in Denver and Aurora last year following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. His rising stature within the national movement against police violence has caught the attention of prominent Republicans, such as Donald Trump Jr., and led to threats against Anderson of anonymous social media users.

The first allegations of sexual assault against Anderson were made public by Black Lives Matter 5280, a community organizing group that emerged from protests against police violence.

Anderson hinted at the role race played in the allegations on Friday morning, tweeting: “My body is hanging on a tree long enough, let’s get it over with today.”

The investigation was also sensitive to survivors of sexual assault. The report describes how survivors are often re-traumatized when they explain their assault to investigators and are asked about their responsibility for their assault. Some of the young people involved in the allegations are believed to be undocumented immigrants, whom investigators recognize as a vulnerable population.

“We will overcome,” chanted Anderson supporters as they entered the DPS offices to attend a school board meeting. The DPS school board, which in a statement said his behavior fell short of the standards the board held, was due to vote at 1 p.m. on whether to censor Anderson.

It’s a developing story that will be updated.


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