Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), like many Republicans, says she strongly supports parents knowing what goes on in their kids’ schools and having a say in even minor matters. According to her, parents have a right to prevent “indoctrination” in schools and stop their kids from being exposed to “extremely divisive content.”
But now some parents are speaking out against what they believe is “extremely divisive content”: Lauren Boebert herself.
Five parents spoke at a Dolores School District RE-4A school board meeting last Thursday, angry that Boebert visited the school and spoke to several hundred Dolores Middle & High School students without them present.
A man named Kyle was among the parents who spoke, and he said he was mad that the school had “allowed a polarizing person like Boebert into our schools.”
“I don’t know how it happened, but I’m here to make sure it never happens again,” he said.
Boebert visited and spoke at the school in Dolores, Colorado on March 15, where she allegedly told students about “moral decay” and how the COVID-19 pandemic was used to infringe on civil liberties. She talked about the far-right Freedom Caucus and told students that “Jesus was the biggest influence in her life,” according to one parent.
“Come on!” the Durango Herald wrote in a March 17 editorial about the visit, calling her a “polarizing politician.” “This is Boebert’s brand on stage in front of students without parents present.”
The Herald noted that parents were informed that she would be visiting in an email sent on March 13, but they were told that they would not be allowed to attend. The email said that Boebert would talk about her work in Congress “and then highlight the unprecedented events which started the 118th Session of Congress,” referring to how Boebert and several other extreme Republicans refused to vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker, holding up business in the House of Representatives for a week.
One parent at the school board meeting brought up how Boebert’s discussion with students wasn’t even broadcast over Zoom.
“It would have been so easy to do,” Leah, the parent, said. “It probably would have turned down the heat.”
Leah said that she emailed Superintendent Reece Blincoe and Principal Justin Schmidt several times about Boebert’s visit but didn’t get a reply. She said that she didn’t “have any confidence in [Blincoe’s] ability to lead the school district.”
Another speaker told the board that the nearby Montezuma-Cortez School District had the “good sense” to refuse to let Boebert visit. He wanted the Dolores school district to issue a statement acknowledging that they had made a mistake.
The parent was referring to Superintendent Tom Burris of the Montezuma-Cortez School District, who said that Boebert’s office tried to schedule an assembly with high school and middle school students in that district but they declined because the district was “focusing energies on students in the classroom and academics.” Burris said that he offered to give Boebert a tour of the schools instead.
Another parent, who introduced herself as Mary, took issue with Boebert talking about Jesus with students during the visit: “Christianity has been openly discussed on campus.”
The fifth parent, Molly Cooper, said that she filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and found that Boebert was the only politician the school had ever invited to speak. She said that students “who are not white and who are LGBT” were victimized by Boebert’s visit, considering her staunch opposition to equal rights and diversity.
“This is about holding you accountable for a very poor choice,” Cooper said. “I will not move forward… the school is absolutely wrong. There is clearly no leadership because the school did not stop this.”
Another person wanted to speak about Boebert’s visit but wasn’t allowed to because they hadn’t signed up in advance.
Board President Meagan Crowley told the parents that Beobert’s visit was a chance to ask for more money for the school district.
“We’re very underrepresented, and we had a chance to drive that home,” she said. “She was able to walk around our campus and see how desperately we needed funding.”
She also said the students “asked terrific questions and were very respectful and attentive.”
Blincoe, though, was less conciliatory, telling parents that he’s “not going to bow down from it. I won’t.” He said he got “nasty” emails from parents about Boebert’s visit. The Herald reports that he has been “thoroughly cussed out in many of the emails.”
He said that Boebert’s office asked to speak at the school first and that her visit gave “civic students… a unique opportunity to hear from their elected representative.”
“She did make comments I didn’t agree with, but I think that’s how it is with every politician,” he said.