- Even staunch Republicans are getting sick of a Colorado school district’s new conservative board, according to NBC News.
- A Republican parent told NBC News that the board is sacrificing the education of students to fulfill its agenda.
- Nearly 40% of the district’s high school teachers have said they won’t be back next year.
A conservative board took over a small Colorado school district in 2021. But the board has angered locals, and even Republicans are fed up with the board’s controversial policies. according to a new report from NBC News.
After gaining control of the Woodland Park, Colorado, school district a year and a half ago, the new conservative board has implemented policies that have incited teachers, students and parents.
One of the board’s most contentious decisions was the adoption of the American Birthright social studies standard. The conservative curriculum, created by a right-wing advocacy group, emphasizes patriotism, discourages civic engagement and downplays the role of race and racism in American history.
The district’s new board-elected superintendent also scoffed at the need for mental health services for students and opted not to renew the contracts of many of the district’s social workers and counselors, NBC News reported.
Nearly a third of the district’s teachers left after the new board took over, according to Colorado Public Radio. And nearly 40% of the district’s high school teachers have chosen not to return next year, a district administrator told NBC News.
“I think they see us as this petri dish where they can really push all their agendas and theories,” one parent, Joe Dohrn, who described himself as a “stave Republican,” told NBC News.
“Clearly they are willing to sacrifice public school and put students currently in public school through years of turmoil to drive home their ideological beliefs. It’s a farce.”
Another conservative father, Craig Johnson, who described himself as “pro-life” and “a gun lover,” told NBC News that he removed three of his children from the district because of the board’s position that the Mental health should be treated at home, not at school.
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids for whom home is a troubled place,” Johnson told NBC News. “So don’t tell me mental health starts at home when we have examples of parents murdering at home.”
School board elections were a hot topic in 2021, when conservative tickets, buoyed by rhetoric against “critical race theory,” came to power in many states, including Colorado. Many of the races were endorsed by a conservative political action committee, Insider previously reported.