Tay Anderson, a member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Trustees, made her first official appearance since her Sept. 17 censorship by other board members with a two-hour town hall at the Brother Jeff Cultural Center in Five Points, Saturday.
Anderson made himself available for the community to tell him about censorship and a student walkout last month demanding that he resign after a district-ordered report revealed he had flirted online with teenage girls.
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Residents were more interested in discussing the issues their children face in the district and hearing from candidates running for council. Thirteen people, including one incumbent, Carrie Olson, are running for four vacant seats in the election to be held on November 2.
Anderson, 23, voluntarily withdrew from the Denver board of directors as part of the independent investigation into anonymous allegations of sexual assault. The investigation did not substantiate allegations of sexual assault, but confirmed inappropriate online conversations with the girls, triggering censorship, which aside from public rejection has no impact on his position on the council administration.
Anderson’s censorship came two days after the 96-page report was released.
According to the document, Anderson “had naughty social media contacts with a 16-year-old college student … while on the board” and “made two social media posts in the during the investigation which were coercive and intimidating towards witnesses.
Anderson maintained his innocence. The cost of the investigation, conducted by the Investigative Law Group of Denver, was $ 105,449.63.
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“It was an aggressive public lynching,” Ian Coggins, self-proclaimed Anderson supporter, told The Gazette. He and his wife looked out over town hall with their baby and a red-haired toddler. “People forget that in a three-way race he got 50% of the vote. He fought through adversity and handled it well.
Anderson opened City Hall on Saturday pledging to regain the respect of parents, students and the Denver school board.
“There is no hard feelings at all,” he told a room of about 20 people and an online audience. “We are committed to working for your children, not for ourselves. ”
Parents say Tay Anderson showed no contrition for her behavior online
Other topics covered by residents, parents and applicants included whether police should serve in schools, how children with disabilities are educated and how the district is dealing with the coronavirus.
Anderson allayed parents’ concerns over Friday night’s manual high school soccer game where panicked students fled the stands after hearing what they believed to be a gunshot.
“There are already tensions among our students,” Anderson said. “There was talk of a gun, but someone in the parking lot actually spilled only one bottle,” he explained as the broken glass made a clicking noise.
At the end of Town Hall, Jane Shirley, a former teacher first-time candidate for council, addressed the controversy surrounding the Anderson, saying the process was dysfunctional.
“I don’t like the way it turned out. But we have what we have and we move on. “