3 School Board Members Targeted for Recall
Targeted Board Members
This recall effort targets three current school board members, Richard Garcia, Kathy Gebhardt, and Lisa Sweeney-Miran. These members have been particularly outspoken in their disregard for parental choice in the matter of mandatory mask policies and/or mandatory experimental COVID-19 vaccines for children. If time and resources had been unlimited and if election laws did not prohibit recalling school board members who are within 90 days of completing their term, 3 additional board members, Stacey Zis, Tina Marquis and Kitty Sargent would have been targeted for recall too.
Callous Disregard for Students’ Physical and Emotional Health
The current school board members were elected before COVID-19 restrictions. Like most school board campaigns, theirs focused on traditional issues like student achievement, school funding, and equity, which made it impossible to predict where candidates might stand on COVID-19 related issues like mandatory masking and vaccines. The current board’s support of these medical intrusions is now clear despite abundant evidence these practices are causing both physical and mental harm to our children.
Failing to Consider Alternative Opinions
We recognize that school board members are unpaid volunteers who donate their time to community service. Our grievances lie not with the targeted school board members as individuals, but rather with their policies and judgement, particularly their unquestioning allegiance to unelected officials at Boulder and Broomfield County Public Health. Over the past year and a half, these board members repeatedly have demonstrated poor judgment by accepting false and misleading advice from these health officials. At the same time, they have ignored professional, credentialed, and well-informed constituents who have provided peer-reviewed research and other scientific data that challenge the standard public health narrative on COVID-19.
Moreover, to avoid having to meet up directly with those who hold dissenting views, the school board has excluded parents from in-person participation at school board meetings, unlike the majority of school districts in Colorado, which are open to the public.
The unwillingness of the targeted Board members to listen to dissenting opinions before making important decisions impacting staff and students is a violation of BVSD Board Policy, which specifically states, “The board is responsible to the community and therefore, should attempt to take into account the opinion of the community and reconcile competing values.”
Encouraging harassment of those holding opposing views
We do not question the personal sincerity or integrity of the board members targeted for recall, only their policies and judgement. They and their supporters have not extended the same benefit of the doubt to us. Some board members have made inflammatory statements that have resulted in supporters of the recall effort being harassed, subjected to hate emails and phone calls, doxxed on regulated social media platforms like Next Door, and scurrilously accused of being well paid out-of-state, right-wing agitators and white supremacists. Similar tactics are being used to discredit and cancel parents at school board meetings across the country who are protesting unnecessary and harmful COVID-19 restrictions. In a playbook that even George Orwell did not foresee, parents who dare to speak up are now being labeled as “domestic terrorists.”
Conflicts of Interest
Despite the absurd attempts described above to portray us as the Goliath in this fight, the big money is squarely on the side of those invested in prolonging COVID-19 fear and societal controls. Countless small businesses have collapsed across the country under COVID restrictions and lockdowns as Big Pharma and Big Tech have flourished and reaped tens of billions of dollars in profits.
To make matters worse, Big Pharma and Big Tech have forged “partnerships” with once-trusted institutions like schools and universities, creating financial entanglements and conflicts of interest that influence many aspects of our lives, often in a non-transparent manner. Meanwhile, a well-known revolving door links the pharmaceutical industry to our public health agencies.
BVSD recently received a $41 million dollar grant from the federal government, ostensibly to undo the damage created by the lost year of school beginning in March 2020. Parents are rightfully asking what strings are attached to this $41 million grant? Did, for example, BVSD commit to strict mask, quarantine, and vaccine policies in exchange for this government largesse? These grants, which are funded by U.S. taxpayers, raise troubling questions about who has crafted these programs and whether they reflect an attempt by the federal government to exert its authority in areas traditionally left to state and local governments.
Cost of Recall
Opponents of the recall have criticized the cost of the special election (estimated at $650k) to elect new board members. While $650k is a substantial amount of money, it less than 0.2% of BVSD’s current $400 million annual budget and is equivalent to the annual revenue loss to BVSD if just 50 students withdraw due to its COVID-19 policies. In fact, hundreds of families are threatening to leave BVSD because of these board members’ positions on mask and vaccine mandates, which could result in millions of dollars in lost funding. On balance, the cost of recalling these board members is small when compared with the net positive impact on the District’s finances when they are gone.
The BVSD school board voted recently to phase out School Resources Officers (SROs), who then had to be replaced with private security, at an estimated annual cost of at least $2 million dollars. Although fiscally questionable, this decision was motivated by the well-meaning goal of protecting minority students, who historically have been subject disproportionately to school disciplinary action. This recall is similarly motivated by the desire to protect children, in this case from the heavy-handed and poorly-thought-out COVID-19 measures of the last 18 months, and it will do this at less than 1/3 the price of the SRO phaseout. School shutdowns, online learning and onerous quarantine policies have left millions of children behind across the country. Such policies, which this board has supported, have hit poor and disadvantaged students the hardest, with lifelong implications for many, all because of a virus that 99.997% of children survive.