- Even staunch Republicans are getting tired of a Colorado school district’s new conservative board, according to NBC News.
- One Republican parent told NBC News the board is sacrificing students’ education to serve its agenda.
- Nearly 40% of the district’s high school teachers have said they won’t be returning next year.
A conservative board took over a small Colorado school district in 2021. But the board has been infuriating locals — and even fellow Republicans are fed up with the board’s controversial policies, according to a new report from NBC News.
After winning control of the Woodland Park, Colorado, school district a year and a half ago, the new conservative board has implemented policies that have stirred up teachers, students, and parents.
One of the board’s most contentious decisions was its 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 has also scoffed at the need for mental health services for students, and chosen 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 control, according to Colorado Public Radio. And almost 40% of the high school teachers in the district have chosen not to return next year, a district administrator told NBC News.
“I think they look at us as this petri dish where they can really push all their agenda and theories,” one parent, Joe Dohrn, who described himself as a “staunch Republican,” told NBC News.
“They clearly are willing to sacrifice the public school and to put students presently in the public school through years of disarray to drive home their ideological beliefs. It’s a travesty.”
Another conservative parent, Craig Johnson, who described himself as “pro-life” and “gun-loving,” told NBC News he pulled three of his kids from the district over the board’s stance that mental health should be dealt with at home, not at school.
“There are lots of kids for whom home is a problem place, unfortunately,” 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-button issue in 2021, when conservative slates — buoyed by rhetoric against “critical race theory” — swept into power in numerous states, including Colorado. Many of the races were backed by a conservative political action committee, Insider previously reported