District 6 School Board Member Taylor Sullivan Removes Candidate Page to Avoid ‘Harmful Environment’ | Colorado News


November 6 – The Greeley-Evans School District heard from concerned teachers on Friday over a social media thread posted on the candidate page of a newly elected education council member.

The Taylor Sullivan-owned page has since been deleted and Sullivan issued a statement about the posts written by a “Taylor Sullivan administrator for D6 School Board”.

“It served its purpose but, in the end, a message was posted, not by me, but by someone who helped with my campaign,” Sullivan wrote in the statement. “I did not approve, authorize or notify the post and it has since been removed from this page and made a public statement accepting its error. I accept responsibility for the content on the page to return to me.”

Sullivan and other new education board members Kyle Bentley and Rob Norwood and re-elected board chairman Michael Mathews will be sworn in at an education board meeting on Monday evening in the District 6 building on 9th avenue.

District 6 spokeswoman Theresa Myers said on Friday that the school system heard from staff concerned about the content of messages written by Sherrie A. Peif, who responded to a teacher questioning a point of view in the thread – believed to be from Sullivan – writing, “I just think publicly berating the person you work for now is probably not smart, but hey, it’s your choice.”

Greeley City Councilor Tommy Butler responded to the post saying, “The staff in District 6 don’t work for you. You work for them.”

Peif was formerly an education reporter for the Greeley Tribune. In a post on his Facebook page, Peif apologized for the confusion caused by the post. She wrote that the error occurred because as the page admin she had a choice to post as the voice of Sullivan’s candidate page or as her own page.

Peif demanded that no one hold the post against Sullivan, writing, “She NEVER said that and she wouldn’t!”

Peif said she called District 6 superintendent Deirdre Pilch.

Myers said the district “reassured staff” that the education board is not making decisions about hires or layoffs.

“The education council collectively has one employee, the superintendent,” Myers said.

In her statement, Sullivan said that another reason she decided to remove the page was to eliminate “the constant flow of angry comments (which) only fuel the fire and create a hurtful environment between them. teachers, the school board and the rest of the district. “

The social media conversation started from a Question of the Day on Sullivan’s page in late October asking for thoughts on “What’s the most important thing our district is facing right now?”

The answer from the Candidate’s Biggest Issue page was “the 19 months of learning our kids lost,” and the answer included a three-step process to get District 6 students back on track.

The third item on the list said the district “must return to standard teaching and stop teaching lessons that distract the student from learning educational principles.”

The explanation went on to add that teachers are required to follow each school’s curriculum and should focus on “the basics of math, reading, writing, science and civics. and leave the development of social and emotional skills to parents “.

Commentators who identified themselves as District 6 teachers, and Butler, took issue with the third element of their responses, which led to a lengthy exchange with the page writer candidate now identified as Peif.

Greeley Education Association president Andraya Lee said on Friday she had not seen the conversation on Facebook. Lee said the content taught in Classrooms in District 6 follows state standards and is carefully reviewed before material is brought into schools.

“Any program purchased by District 6 is controlled by Colorado state standards and goes through a multi-level process with input from educators, parents and students,” Lee said. “But the final decision whether the program is purchased is based on how well it aligns with Colorado state standards.”

Lee said social and emotional learning lessons are taught in the district because they are part of state standards. Critical Race Theory, or CRT, is not included in the state standard and is not taught in schools in District 6.

“Unlike charter schools, we can’t choose the curriculum,” Lee said. “Our job as educators is to teach according to state standards. This is how the program is selected in District 6. It is not a game of darts with ‘eeny meeny miny moe.’ “

(c) 2021 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colorado)

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