Jeffco board considers censure – again

GOLDEN – Jefferson County school board members have scheduled another censure vote against board member Laura Boggs after she agreed with a radio host that Superintendent Cindy Stevenson “should be shot.”

Jeffco Superintendent Cindy Stevenson
Board members listened to a snippet of the lengthy Oct. 18 interview between Boggs and Jason Worley, co-host of conservative Grassroots Radio Colorado on 560 AM, at the board’s work session Thursday.

During the interview, the two discussed the school district’s proposed tax increases, which Boggs opposes. Worley, incensed by the idea of a Jeffco employee focused on social media, said, “If you have a Facebook person still in Jefferson County, your superintendent should be shot.”

“Yes,” Boggs responded.

“I’m sorry,” Worley said.

“Yep,” Boggs said.

Later, Boggs told 9News that she was on her phone, not in the studio with Worley, and didn’t fully hear what he said.

At Thursday’s meeting, Boggs described Worley’s comment and her response as “totally inappropriate,” adding “I have apologized to the superintendent in the form of a handwritten note.”

But Stevenson said she found the apology “hollow.”

“I am tired of Jeffco Public Schools being exposed to disruptive behavior that keeps us from achieving what we need to achieve,” she said, “so I find it a hollow apology.”

Board member Robin Johnson, who was elected to the board in 2009, the same year as Boggs, said, “I want to know when the craziness is going to stop” and cited “incident after incident since 2009” that she said has given Jeffco a reputation as a dysfunctional board.

“The comment that was made was a completely inappropriate comment for the society we live in now and it was completely inappropriate for you to agree and laugh about it,” Johnson said.

Several board members spoke about the nature of the comments in a district that endured the Columbine massacre and, more recently, the shooting of two students at Deer Creek Middle School.

Jeffco school board member Laura Boggs
Laura Boggs

Boggs, the lone conservative on the five-member board, became the first board member in the history of the state’s largest district to be censured in 2010. Then, board members said their vote to censure was based on a string of “unethical behavior” that included Boggs’ threatening to derail a $32.8 million federal grant and to “tear this county apart” in a meeting with Stevenson.

Thursday, board member Jill Fellman asked a vote to censure Boggs a second time be placed on the agenda for the board’s Nov. 1 meeting.

A censure is essentially a formal public rebuke, but it carries no other weight.

Lesley Dahlkemper, the board’s president, said a censure “sends a message to the community.”

“Four of the five board members believe that this is completely and wholly inappropriate behavior by an elected official who serves as a role model to our kids in the community,” she said. “That’s the most important message.”

Boggs did not comment when her fellow board members agreed to place the censure vote on next week’s agenda.

“My apology is sincere. It was absolutely not intended as a threat,” she said after the meeting. “It was based on a comment about having a full-time Facebook person, which we all know we don’t. And while I appreciate the sensitivity to a community that’s been ravaged a number of times by gun violence, it was not meant to be taken in any way, shape or form as a threat.”

Boggs said her handwritten note to Stevenson was a sincere request for forgiveness “and I don’t know what else to do.”

Weekend Reads

Need classroom decor inspiration? These educators have got you covered.

This school year, students will spend about 1,000 hours in school —making their classrooms a huge part of their learning experience.

We’re recognizing educators who’ve poured on the pizazz to make students feel welcome. From a 9th-grade “forensics lab” decked out in caution tape to a classroom stage complete with lights to get first graders pumped about public speaking, these crafty teachers have gone above and beyond to create great spaces.

Got a classroom of your own to show off? Know someone that should be on this list? Let us know!

Jaclyn Flores, First Grade Dual Language, Rochester, New York
“Having a classroom that is bright, cheerful, organized and inviting allows my students to feel pride in their classroom as well as feel welcome. My students look forward to standing on the stage to share or sitting on special chairs to dive into their learning. This space is a safe place for my students and we take pride in what it has become.”

Jasmine, Pre-K, Las Vegas, Nevada
“My classroom environment helps my students because providing calming colors and a home-like space makes them feel more comfortable in the classroom and ready to learn as first-time students!”


Oneika Osborne, 10th Grade Reading, Miami Southridge Senior High School, Miami, Florida
“My classroom environment invites all of my students to constantly be in a state of celebration and self-empowerment at all points of the learning process. With inspirational quotes, culturally relevant images, and an explosion of color, my classroom sets the tone for the day every single day as soon as we walk in. It is one of optimism, power, and of course glitter.”

Kristen Poindexter, Kindergarten, Spring Mill Elementary School, Indianapolis, Indiana
“I try very hard to make my classroom a place where memorable experiences happen. I use songs, finger plays, movement, and interactive activities to help cement concepts in their minds. It makes my teacher heart so happy when past students walk by my classroom and start their sentence with, “Remember when we…?”. We recently transformed our classroom into a Mad Science Lab where we investigated more about our 5 Senses.”


Brittany, 9th Grade Biology, Dallas, Texas
“I love my classroom environment because I teach Biology, it’s easy to relate every topic back to Forensics and real-life investigations! Mystery always gets the students going!”


Ms. Heaton, First Grade, Westampton, New Jersey
“As an educator, it is my goal to create a classroom environment that is positive and welcoming for students. I wanted to create a learning environment where students feel comfortable and in return stimulates student learning. A classroom is a second home for students so I wanted to ensure that the space was bright, friendly, and organized for the students to be able to use each and every day.”

D’Essence Grant, 8th Grade ELA, KIPP Houston, Houston, Texas
“Intentionally decorating my classroom was my first act of showing my students I care about them. I pride myself on building relationships with my students and them knowing I care about them inside and outside of the classroom. Taking the time to make the classroom meaningful and creative as well building a safe place for our community helps establish an effective classroom setting.”


Jayme Wiertzema, Elementary Art, Worthington, Minnesota
“I’m looking forward to having a CLASSROOM this year. The past two years I have taught from a cart and this year my amazing school district allowed me to have a classroom in our school that is busting at the seams! I’m so excited to use my classroom environment to inspire creativity in my students, get to know them and learn from their amazing imaginations in art class!”


Melissa Vecchio, 4th Grade, Queens, New York
“Since so much of a student’s time is spent inside their classroom, the environment should be neat, organized, easy to move around in but most of all positive. I love to use a theme to reinforce great behavior. I always give the students a choice in helping to design bulletin boards and desk arrangements. When they are involved they take pride in the classroom, and enjoy being there.”

moving forward

After Confederate flag dispute at Colorado football game, schools pledge to bring students together

PHOTO: Marc Piscotty
Manual High students.

Acknowledging “we may never have a conclusive picture of what happened,” two Colorado school districts sought to move past a controversy over whether a Confederate flag was displayed at a football game and open a conversation between the two school communities.

The principal of Manual High, Nick Dawkins, wrote in a community letter over the weekend that the visiting Weld Central High School team “displayed a Confederate flag during the first quarter of the (Friday night) game, offending many members of the Manual community.”

Officials from Denver Public Schools and Weld County School District Re-3J released a joint letter Tuesday saying that based “on what we have learned to date, however, the Weld Central team did not display the Confederate flag.” At the same time, it said, multiple Manual eyewitnesses “reported seeing spectators who attempted to bring a Confederate flag into the game and clothing with flag images.”

Going forward, students from the two schools — one rural and one urban — will participate in a student leadership exchange that has student leaders visit each other’s schools and communities to “share ideas and perspectives,” the letter says.

“At a time in our country when so many are divided, we want our students instead to come together, share ideas and learn together,” says the letter, which is signed by the principals of both schools and the superintendents of both school districts.

The alleged incident took place at a time when issues of race, social injustice, politics and sports are colliding in the United States, making for tough conversations, including in classrooms.

Weld Central’s mascot is a Rebel. Manual, whose mascot is the Thunderbolts, is located in one of Denver’s historically African-American neighborhoods.

Dawkins in his initial community letter also said “the tension created by the flag led to conflict on and off the playing field,” and that three Manual players were injured, including one who went to the hospital with a leg injury. He also said some Manual players reported that Weld Central players “taunted them with racial slurs.”

Weld Central officials vehemently denied that their team displayed the flag. In addition, they said in their own community letter they had “no evidence at this point that any of our student athletes displayed racially motivated inappropriate behavior.”

They said district officials “do not condone any form of racism,” including the Confederate flag.

Weld Central fans told the Greeley Tribune that they didn’t see any Confederate flag.

Read the full text below.