Immediate Action Required to Protect our LGBTQ Youth

BVSD Board of Education currently has before it a charter school application from Ascent Classical Academy (ACA). ACA is one of a chain of schools initiated by the Barney Charter School Initiative, a project of Hillsdale College. Hillsdale College is a private college in Michigan that espouses beliefs of intolerance toward any group that is not white, heterosexual, or cisgender. It works to promote the policies of hate being enacted by the current Federal Administration.

The BVSD Board of Education initially rejected the application because the ACA waived BVSD’s anti-discrimination policy and over 50 other items in the application.  ACA appealed to the Colorado Board of Education, and now the State Board is requiring that BVSD’s Board again consider the application.

The BVSD Board of Education will vote on the application Tuesday, Jan. 22. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at 6500 Arapahoe, Boulder, CO.

We know that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and youth of color face extreme bullying as compared to other youth. Charter schools that provide no protections for our most vulnerable youth do not belong in our community, nor should they receive any public funding.

We strongly urge you to take one or more of the following actions before Tuesday night’s vote:

  1. Write emails to individual BVSD Board members

  2. Send an email to the entire BVSD Board of Education:

  3. Show up and speak at the Board Meeting Tuesday. Anyone wishing to speak during Public Participation may either sign up via phone at 720 561 5114, or in person between 5:30-5:45 p.m. Tuesday. However, any member of the public who comes to the meeting before the end of Public Participation may sign up to speak.

Ascent Classical Academies is part of a project to stealthily push a religious agenda into public schools. This is not kind of school that BVSD needs. It goes against the spirit of what charter schools are for, and it violates the norms of the school district. BVSD has five diverse charter schools, none of which are backed by a shadowy, non-local agenda. We are concerned that the ACA has an anti-equity, anti-diversity perspective and that it will not serve LGBT or students of color in Boulder County.

Out Boulder County Statement Regarding Title IX and Transgender Youth

Out Boulder County Statement Regarding Title IX and Transgender Youth

We learned yesterday that the Department of Education will no longer enforce Title IX to defend transgender students, with agreement from the new Secretary, Betsy DeVos. This decision comes under heavy pressure from Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice. The broad reaching effect of this choice goes much further than just bathrooms; this change ends all rights and protections afforded to transgender youth under Title IX.

We have assurances from Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley School Districts that their policies to protect transgender youth will remain in place. Additionally, in Colorado, we are lucky enough to have broad legal protections for our transgender youth under SB08-200, which prohibits any discrimination in housing and public accommodations (including schools) based on a person’s actual or perceived transgender identity. These protections are unequivocal and require ALL Colorado schools to continue protecting transgender youth, despite this change in federal policy.