Hundreds of DPS students walk out in protest of Tay Anderson

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) Some Denver students believe the Board of Education didn’t go far enough when it voted to censure Tay Anderson after an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

The investigative report found serious allegations of sexual assault were unsubstantiated but found he did make unwelcome sexual comments and advances toward members of the Never Again Colorado Board of Directors and had flirtations with a 16-year-old DPS student since his election to the board in 2019.

Monday, students poured out of East and North High Schools around 10 a.m., carrying signs in protest of the board’s decision, believing they did not go far enough.

“These are the district’s kids who feel scared,” said North High School senior and one of the protest organizers Ashley Robinson. “It’s supposed to be up to our district leaders to ensure boundaries that should never be crossed are never crossed like they have allowed Tay Anderson to do.”

A group of 11 students, from several high schools, met with district leaders behind closed doors. FOX31’s Deborah Takahara spoke with several of them after the meeting.

“We talked about the possibility of creating a code of conduct that is student-heard, and we really appreciated the fact that they listened to students themselves and what we had to say,” said Madison Baldwin, from South High School. “It is a big deal and Director Anderson’s actions are a direct attack on other students in the district who are survivors of sexual assault. His lack of justice and lack of accountability, which is one of DPS’ core standards, is disgusting.”

“He has to recognize his actions are not OK, and needs to resign — that is what we are protesting for today,” said Henry Creighton from George Washington High School. “Everyone needs to feel safe at school.”

“I don’t think he represents us,” Chloe Avant said. “I think he’s hurt too many of us in our district and he doesn’t deserve his position. I plan to be down here and working with the superintendent until he is gone.”

What Denver Public Schools board members say

Dr. Carrie Olson, DPS Board of Education president, said the students talked to them “forcefully and powerfully about their safety” and students will be included in the development of a code of conduct for board members.

“A major part of this code of conduct will be strict policies board members social media conduct. It will include clear protocols and consequences for misconduct to ensure accountability,” Olson said.

DPS Board Vice President Jennifer Bacon said “this issue has been a major disruption to our district priorities, our schools, and our students learning for far too long. As our students told us today, there needs to be more action and more accountability. We hope director Anderson will help in that process and not provoke or disparage anyone who has concerns with his behavior.”

The board members said they recognized the events of the past week could be triggers for survivors of sexual assault. They recommended The Blue Bench for anyone who needs resources.

Olson and Bacon addressed the student protests together on Monday. You can re-watch their statements on FOX31 NOW.

How Tay Anderson is responding

Tay Anderson responded to the protests with the following statement:

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