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A group of Colorado Springs School District 11 students on Wednesday will hold a demonstration outside the district’s administration building, according to a news release from the advocacy group Neighbors for Education.

The demonstration, which will take place ahead of the district’s 5:30 p.m. Board of Education meeting, is in protest of a controversial social media post by Board Vice President Jason Jorgenson earlier this month, the release stated.

The post, which has been deleted, depicted a transgender woman undergoing an ultrasound examination in a doctor’s office, with a caption reading, "When you transgender and you think you pregnant" and a monitor showing fecal matter in the woman’s stomach.

After removing the Facebook post, Jorgenson posted an apology on the district’s website, acknowledging the meme "was not an appropriate thing to share as a person in my position."

But Maddy Young, a D-11 student who organized the protest, said an apology is not enough.

"We are taught not to bully, and to be responsible users of social media," said Young, 17. "But here is this person, this adult, who holds a position of influence and power over us, and he is using his social media to spread hate and discrimination. That’s not okay, and it’s not who we are. We’re coming on Wednesday to let the board and the city know that. We want accountability, and we want more than an apology."

Jorgenson on Tuesday did not immediately address the social media post, but told The Gazette he "commends and respects [students'] decision to protest and advocate for their views and concerns."

Students also plan to attend and speak at the board meeting, the release stated.

Representatives from Inside Out Youth Services, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group based in Colorado Springs, will be on hand at the demonstration "with hot chocolate and hand warmers" for those braving the predicted bitter cold, said spokeswoman Liss Smith. The group also intends to speak during the public comment segment of the meeting, Smith said.

Jorgenson is not the only D-11 board member to recently court controversy. Rev. Al Loma garnered media attention after community members obtained emails he sent to other board members and to Superintendent Michael Thomas. In these emails, Loma allegedly said he wanted to "gangster slap" a man who spoke at a board meeting last month and referred to a local advocacy group, comprised mostly of Black men, as "barking Chihuahuas." Loma apologized in a written statement read by Board President Parth Melpakam.

Jorgenson’s and Loma’s behavior could be viewed as violations of the board’s operating and procedures manual, which states, in part, that individual board members should "abstain from using offensive or questionable language or labeling that may offend Directors or the administration or the audience" and behave in a manner that will "reflect board and district values at all times."

Loma told The Gazette he welcomes the protest.

"It is always a great sight when our young get involved by performing one of our inalienable constitutional rights," Loma said in an email. "I wish them all the best."

The D-11 school board plans to hold an executive session ahead of the regular meeting, during which they intend to "discuss legal advice" regarding Thomas’ employment contract. At the Feb. 9 meeting, the board announced an upcoming mid-year review of Thomas’ performance, a move some see as laying groundwork for Thomas’ ouster.

"It feels like (firing Thomas) might be the natural next step," said Jen Williamson, co-founder of Neighbors for Education. "But I hope not."

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