The sudden resignation of Douglas County School District Board of Education Member Elizabeth Hanson is propelling the embattled school district into the spotlight yet again.
Hanson resigned late Tuesday night during a marathon, hours-long board meeting.
“I am stepping down from my role as a director, effective immediately, because politics and ego are the primary agenda of this board,” Hanson said.
DougCo school board member Elizabeth Hanson resigns ahead of equity policy vote
Hanson’s resignation comes amid ongoing diversity and equity controversies. The former director, who was one of three members in the board's minority, stepped down before the school board approved changes to the district's equity policy.
Jeramiah Ganzy, 14, told Denver7 he's experienced so much racism at Castle Rock Middle School that he no longer feels safe there. His parents plan to file a lawsuit, claiming the school district downplayed the other students' behavior as bullying instead of a hate crime.
“I think it takes a lot of courage to stand up against anything in Douglas County, especially this school board,” said Lacey Ganzy, Jeramiah's mother. “Watching [Hanson] do it in front of her peers, colleagues and the community was really empowering to know that my son and my family are doing the right thing.”
Lacey alleges her son and other students in his middle school were the targets of hate speech on social media.
Teen says he no longer feels safe after alleged racism at Castle Rock MS
“My son was traumatized and tortured for the entire Black History Month,” Lacey said. “Three African American students were, on March 1, they were told to go back to their country because their month was over. There was a Snapchat group with 100 students in there.”
"I very much appreciate the explanation from our administrative team this evening, but I want to be very clear: Jeramiah Ganzy is not the only student in this district that has experienced disgusting acts of racism, of antisemitism, of homophobic and of transphobic acts," Hanson said during Tuesday's meeting.
Jeramiah's story has made national headlines, sparking outrage and leading to a protest Tuesday night outside the board meeting.
“You failed my child, and you haven’t even acknowledged it,” Lacey said. “I want someone to stand up and say my son’s name and say that they’re sorry.”
Hanson's term was set to end in November, according to the district's website, before she resigned Tuesday night.