Newly appointed Denver school board member explains child abuse conviction

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DENVER -- MiDian Holmes, the newly appointed member of the Denver Public Schools school board, sat down for an interview Wednesday night to respond to revelations that she not only had a child abuse conviction from 2006, but that she did not have a college degree as presented by the district in an earlier news release.

Highlights from the interview:

Holmes: Chris, first let me say thank you for giving me the opportunity to offer some context and perspective. So as far as the information you have received is, um, I guess the best way to do this is to tell my story. So, it was about 10 years ago. I was single mom, working full time. Single mom of three children that were under the age of 10 and my daughter wandered off. There was a neighbor of mine that had found her and taken her to the leasing office.”

Halsne: That’s the 2006 case. Why was there a guilty plea for that child abuse charge?

Holmes: In having the conversation with the prosecutor, she was a mother herself. She definitely offered understanding. She was reasoning and said she understood the details of what happened, but her job as a prosecutor would be to simply prove a perception of neglect and that’s all she would have to do. So she offered a plea and one person against this machine of a system, I just wanted to get back to raising my family. And I did just that.

Halsne: Were you under supervision for a prior case, wrongs to minors?

Holmes: So the case was 10 years ago, almost 11 years ago. And I do recall that my sons were interviewed because of this incident, this specific incident. And I was not, I mean the court supervision and the outcome of the case was to go to parenting classes and I complied with that. So I was 100 percent in compliance with everything that was laid out.

Halsne: Should you not be qualified to be on this school board because of criminal conviction dealing with children?

Holmes: It’s a valid question that all Denver parents should ask: Do you have the right person representing your family, your voice and ultimately your children? ... I think my story would resonate with the parents of District 4 and I think that with the work that I’ve been able to do in advocacy over the last 10 years, building relationships, having conversations, staying engaged, staying plugged in with my children, with the schools in my district and schools in my neighborhood. I really truly feel that I am qualified.

Halsne: Councilperson Rodriquez specifically asked if any candidate had anything that might embarrass the district. Do you feel like your shared enough with the board?

Holmes:  I did have a conversation with a representative with DPS and spoke specifically. I did exactly what I intended to do when this happened. I told my story and I gave the information so the board could go into that meeting a make an informed decision.

Halsne: Tough first day?

Holmes:  Tough is OK. Tough is absolutely OK and it excites me and is worth it and to every family in District 4. I hope they understand in the midst of this story coming and going, I hope they understand I truly believe they are worth it, their kids are worth it.

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