Public Comment by Anne-Marie Lemieux
January 21, 2014 DCSD Board of Education Meeting
I am speaking on behalf of the 1187 members of our growing community group Douglas County Parents. We are parents and community members of all political affiliations, ages and professions who are concerned about the policies that the Douglas County Board of Education and district administration have forced upon the families and teachers of our community.
Today we are addressing two concerns; The vacated board seat and the court finding that DCSD broke the law according to the Fair Campaign Practices Act.
Mr. Larsen has promised to extend an olive branch to concerned parents, educators and community members. In the replacement process of the open director position, this is a perfect opportunity to choose a director who represents the 48% of voters who disagree with the direction of the current corporate education reform agenda. We request that you choose a new board member that will add a perspective and valuable voice not currently represented on this Board. Please keep your promise to our community and give us representation on the Board.
Regarding the finding that DCSD has broken the law.
First, the main issue of the lawsuit is about the expenditure of public tax dollars and abusing the communication department to email a biased white paper to 85,000 potential voters. According to evidence presented during the lawsuit, not only was Hess paid $17,500 by the district, he also asked Dr. fagen what she would specifically like him to focus on in his paper. Further, his original paper was edited of parent concerns before the district used it to influence the outcome of the election. The district’s use of the Hess Report was found to be an illegal use of public tax dollars and district resources.
Second, the board has publicly stated they intend on appealing the case. According to the district’s transparently website, so far DCSD has already diverted $41,383.34 away from students to the law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck LLP to pay for this lawsuit. We request that this lawsuit NOT be appealed, rather those who broke the law must be held accountable for their actions.
Third, due to the illegal use of our taxpayer funded district communication department under the direction of Cinamon Watson, and with the legal advice given by DCSD attorney Rob Ross in this matter, we expect swift justice.
Douglas County Parents is asking the district employees who broke the law and knowingly spread inaccurate information to our community be held accountable for their poor decisions and leadership. In order for justice to be served in the district’s illegal actions, our children, taxpayers, and parents ask for the immediate termination of Elizabeth Fagen, Cinamon Watson and Rob Ross for their involvement with the violation of the Fair Campaign Practices law.