Tay Anderson rejects calls from students to resign, pushes forward with new agenda

Denver School Board Director Tay Anders
Posted at 10:05 PM, Sep 20, 2021

DENVER — Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson said he will continue his work with the district amid protests and calls to resign from students on Monday.

Anderson was censured on Friday by the school board for what members said was inappropriate conduct with students. The vote came days after a report was releasedoutlining allegations against Anderson of sexual misconduct with minors. The most serious allegations were unsubstantiated, the report found. However, several other interactions, such as messages with a 16-year-old DPS student and intimidating social media posts during the investigation, came to light.

"Over the last six months, the work of the Denver Public Schools has been sidelined due to claims now proven unsubstantiated," said Anderson in a press conference on Monday evening."[Students'] education has been once again sidelined by the midst of noise."

The school board voted 6-1 on Friday for the censure. Anderson was the only vote against the action. Students, however, said censure is not enough punishment for the school board director. More than 1,000 students walked out of class on Monday to the school district headquarters to demand Anderson's resignation.

"Our students' messages came through today loud and clear. We need to do more to make sure that our students feel safe, and that board members are held accountable," said Jennifer Bacon, vice president of the Denver Public Schools board of education. "As our students told us today, there needs to be more action and more accountability."

The board has limited ability to reprimand an elected official and is unable to force the resignation of a board member. However, the board president said the school district will be publishing a new code of conduct that outlines rules and consequences around behavior of school officials online.

"A major part of this code of conduct will also be strict policies about board members social media communications," said Dr. Carrie Olson, president of the Denver Public Schools board of education. "The code of conduct will also place clear protocols and consequences for misconduct. To help ensure accountability."

Anderson says he will participate in the discussions for a new code of conduct but denied any wrongdoing related to the investigation's findings. He also presented a new diversity agenda, including the creation of an ethnic studies department, that he said will be the focus of his remaining time on the school board.