by: Ashley Michels
Douglas County School District meeting (photo credit: KDVR)
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — An online petition supporting a recall of the four majority board members who voted to oust former superintendent Corey Wise has already collected more than 15,000 signatures.
“It’s not a formal petition but it’s a way to show your support that you want a recall, that you support Corey Wise, you support better changes,” Kaci Nice said.
Nice is a parent of two Douglas County School District students and an alumnus of the district herself. She says Friday’s vote to fire Wise has left her “heartbroken.”
The decision has been under scrutiny due to allegations that some board members met privately and in violation of Colorado’s open meeting laws to make decisions related to Wise’s future with the district. Board President Mike Peterson has denied that claim.
School was canceled across the district on Thursday after more than 1,000 teachers called out sick in protest.
On Friday, Douglas County’s school board held a special meeting to consider Wise’s employment. The board voted four to three in favor of terminating his contract. The public was not invited to offer comments.
The four board members who voted to get rid of Wise are new to the board after winning their seats in the November 2021 election.
“The whole reason we voted them in to make a change is for parent voices to be heard so this is a parent board where parent voices aren’t heard? I’m confused how that works,” Nice said.
She added, “We asked the board to move our community in a direction. That does not mean fire everybody and hire everybody that thinks alike.”
According to Nice, her petition asking for support for a recall is not a knee-jerk reaction.
“They need to be in office for six months for a recall to occur,” she said.
A formal recall would not be possible until summer 2022.
“No taxpayers want to pay for a recall. We want their resignations at this point so we don’t have to pay for another mistake that they made,” Nice said.
In a statement earlier in the week, board president Peters said, “I am committed to restoring the peace and unity to our school district with a renewed focus on educating our children.”
However, Nice says she feels like the damage is beyond repair.
“I know as a parent there’s no way I can allow to raise my children with a board that is unethical, that divided and do whatever they want at all cost. I will move if I have to,” she said.
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