Douglas County Superintendent Honored at Colorado Parent Advocacy Network Launch Event: The Network Raise Concerns About Public School Curriculum – parkerchronicle.net | Team Cansler

The Douglas County School District Superintendent was honored at the launch event of the Colorado Parent Advocacy Network, a new organization dedicated to opposing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in schools. The group promotes parental rights and school choice.

During the Nov. 13 event at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, the group presented awards to a number of people for their “assistance in restoring parenting’s voice in education,” including Douglas County Superintendent Erin Kane.

Lori Gimelshteyn, executive director of the Colorado Parent Advocacy Network, highlighted Kane’s work to improve communication in the district.

“Since Erin’s appointment in March 2022, she has worked tirelessly to foster positive relationships, open communication and collaboration with parents, educators and the board,” Gimelshteyn said. “Their dedication to implementing and supporting high academic standards so that all students succeed in their individual path is a model for all superintendents in the state and across the country.”

Other honorees include Deborah and Jonathan Flora, who produced the film Who Children Are They?; conservative radio host Kim Monson; Alexandra Campana, Director of the Center for 1776; Laureen Boll, a Colorado coordinator for the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism; and Pam Benigno with the Independence Institute.

About 100 people attended the event, including Douglas County school board members Mike Peterson, Christy Williams and Becky Meyers.

After the event, Kane said she hoped the award would signal parents that the school district was not promoting critical race theory, “waking up the curriculum, or indoctrinating children.”

“Douglas County is an amazing public school district, we have a great variety of schools, we focus on academic excellence, we are non-political,” Kane said. “As you have heard me say many times, we do not promote an awake curriculum or indoctrinate children. I am very excited about this award because I think it will help us show our families in Douglas County that we don’t do these things and that we are different.”

She added that she supports all parents who participate in their child’s education.

“I am committed to strengthening the parenting voice in our district for every family, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, identity, etc.,” she said.

The event also included a panel with Deborah Flora, Erec Smith from the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism and Cain Young, founder of Task Force Freedom. Panelists railed against schools that support transgender students, critical race theory, teachers’ unions and diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and encouraged parents to get involved.

Several questions the panel considered focused on providing advice to parents who may have concerns about their child’s classroom curriculum. When asked why schools are taking on the role of parents, Flora blames the spread of Marxism and the belief that children belong to the state.

“The good news is that we’re not like that, that’s not going to happen and we’re not going to let them replace us,” she said. “We will step forward with a smile on our face and say these are not your children.”

Young went further in his response, saying that schools are at war with parents and contending that a lack of parental say in education amounts to taxation without representation. Young then made a veiled reference to the Second Amendment in his response.

“I’m pretty sure that’s why a great old giant war started. I didn’t say that out loud, FBI,” Young said. “I’m just saying that we have solutions. Our founding fathers gave us solutions to fight these people.”

During the hour-long conversation, panelists also promoted individualism in education, the traditional family unit, and school choices, such as homeschooling and charters.

While Kane said Douglas County schools are not political, she said encouraged any parents who have concerns to speak directly with the teachers.

“One of my core values ​​is to embrace positive intentions, so we always have to start there,” she said. “I think our parents and our teachers in Douglas County work very well together to ensure our children get the best education possible.”

Conversations are also at the heart of Kane’s plan to address the district’s equity policy, which involves getting the community to know what they do and don’t want from the policy. She said she plans to have more conversations with parents in Douglas County from a variety of backgrounds as part of that process.

“Sometimes the more you really listen to what the different sides are saying, I want to say, ‘You’re all saying the same thing,'” Kane said. “No one wants to lower expectations of a group of children. Everyone wants us to take care of each and every child and help them to develop their own individual potential. We want our children to have the best possible future.”

The district will begin hosting community justice policy talks in January, Kane said.

erin kane,

douglas county school district,

Colorado Parent Advocacy Network,

Deborah Flora,

cain young,

erek smith,

Foundation against intolerance and racism

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