DougCo protest

To the north of Colorado Springs, Douglas County School District parents and other community members plan to protest Tuesday over what they consider unfair practices.

The group will demonstrate from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in front of the administration building, 620 Wilcox St,.in Castle Rock, against “teacher bullying” and the school board not allowing them to speak publicly at the January board meeting.

Brad Wann, a parent and one of the organizers of the demonstration, is one of five people who wanted to address the board last month about what they say is a concerning development in their district.

A teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Highlands Ranch, Michelle Grissom, publicly tweeted that a Covington Catholic High School student at a rally in Washington, D.C. was a member of the “Hitler Youth.”

She was referring to a January incident in Washington, D.C. involving students from the school and a Native American activist.

Grissom, also a district union leader, attempted to instigate an online mob against the teen, Wann said. She also misidentified the student she was talking about, citing the name of another person.

”The Twitter comments made by Ms. Grissom were inflammatory, aggressive and grossly inaccurate,” Wann said. “She was basically doxing the student, posting where they lived, trying to get a mob to go after this child, when the father pointed out that his son wasn’t even there.”

Wann said he and a few others wanted to complain to the board about the incident but were silenced.

The board only allowed comments about issues that were on the agenda, and as soon as Grissom's name was mentioned, one speaker was escorted out of the room by security.

“They said we could not directly talk to a board member during public comment, we need to go directly to the teacher," Wann said. "Well, she’s in her house and hiding.”

Grissom has been placed on paid administrative leave, the school district said, and has resigned from her position with the teachers’ union.

Douglas County is Colorado's third-largest public school district with about 67,600 students.

“All we wanted was an open dialogue and a way to express this is not acceptable,” Wann said.

In the past few days, lawyers representing the Covington Catholic High School student seen in a controversial video that went viral reportedly sent more than 50 media organizations, celebrities and politicians letters advising them not to destroy anything related to the issue.

The action is being done possibly in preparation for a libel and defamation lawsuit.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

Reporter

Staff reporter, education and general news and features

Load comments