DENVER (KDVR) — Hundreds of Denver high school students walked out of class Monday demanding school board member Tay Anderson resign.
Anderson held an event Monday evening where he welcomed the media but would not take reporters’ questions. Anderson said he wants to regain the community’s trust.
“I want to make it clear: I support our students and their constitutional right to protest,” Anderson said. “However, it would be disingenuous for me to pretend as though it wasn’t painful to watch.”
Watch the full Tay Anderson press conference on FOX31 NOW.
The students who demonstrated said they just want him to go.
“How are we supposed to trust our schools now, knowing he’s at the top of this?” one student asked.
The demonstrations followed an investigation into Anderson over accusations of sexual misconduct.
Anderson’s school board colleagues voted to censure him after the investigation found flirtatious texting between Anderson and an underage student. Anderson said he didn’t know the girl’s age.
The investigation did not substantiate the most serious accusations of sexual assault. But, regardless, the students said they want Anderson out.
School board president Dr. Carrie Olson said the board is powerless to expel Anderson. His removal is up to the voters of Denver, she said. She added that she took time to listen to students on Monday.
“[The students] told us today that they are embarrassed and disappointed to see how Director Anderson is responding to the censure by continuing to disparage and attack anyone who has concerns about his behavior toward students,” Olson said.
In his Monday evening media event, Anderson apologized to those who were impacted through the process and traumatized, but he didn’t specify his behavior.
Anderson said he welcomes the opportunity to hear students’ concerns despite many students not wanting to hear from him. Anderson also said he will work with the school board to create a board member code of conduct.
Anderson said he will begin holding town halls across the city to earn constituent trust.