JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department confirms it is investigating threats made Wednesday against the child of one of the Jefferson County School Board members. And the School District confirms its security division is looking into the case as well.
FOX31 Denver has learned investigators also looked into a case involving another school board member’s children as well.
The new conservative members of the school board say it is not fair to bring family members into district disagreements.
Board member John Newkirk says teacher walk-outs, student protests and contentious board meetings are part of the job. But he says he never thought it would get so ugly his children and family members were victimized.
He says, “A couple of months after the election some opponents of the new school board started to target the school where my kindergartner was going.” He says the found graffiti spray painted on signs outside her school saying things like “Newkirk is a (expletive).”
Newkirk says, “My daughter is old enough to read now and when she sees her name on a sign with a pejorative underneath it she doesn’t know if they’re talking about her daddy or the whole school hates her.”
Newkirk does not want to name the school, saying he’s sure no one there had anything to do with it. But he says about the same time, someone vandalized a family crest sticker on a family member’s car that was parked in a Jeffco school parking lot.
He says, “Someone went on school property and using district materials fashioned a meteor crashing toward the stick figure family with the implication the family would be wiped out.”
According to a Lakewood police report, a Jeffco school district employee confessed and was put on paid administrative leave for two weeks.
Newkirk says, “It’s one thing to throw rocks at me, I’m an elected official. But when you target the family that crosses a line.”
He says it was in the best interest of his children to change schools. But he adds it’s in the best interest of his constituents that he stand his ground on the school board. “I will go into the board room and I will hold to my core principles. If anything, it’s going to strengthen my resolve that this culture has to change.”
The Sheriff’s office says it cannot comment on the latest investigation because it is ongoing.