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Jeffco board considers censure – again

GOLDEN – Jefferson County school board members have scheduled another censure vote against board member Laura Boggs after she agreed with a radio host that Superintendent Cindy Stevenson “should be shot.”

Board members listened to a snippet of the lengthy Oct. 18 interview between Boggs and Jason Worley, co-host of conservative Grassroots Radio Colorado on 560 AM, at the board’s work session Thursday.During the interview, the two discussed the school district’s proposed tax increases, which Boggs opposes. Worley, incensed by the idea of a Jeffco employee focused on social media, said, “If you have a Facebook person still in Jefferson County, your superintendent should be shot.”

“Yes,” Boggs responded.

“I’m sorry,” Worley said.

“Yep,” Boggs said.

Later, Boggs told 9News that she was on her phone, not in the studio with Worley, and didn’t fully hear what he said.

At Thursday’s meeting, Boggs described Worley’s comment and her response as “totally inappropriate,” adding “I have apologized to the superintendent in the form of a handwritten note.”

But Stevenson said she found the apology “hollow.”

“I am tired of Jeffco Public Schools being exposed to disruptive behavior that keeps us from achieving what we need to achieve,” she said, “so I find it a hollow apology.”

Board member Robin Johnson, who was elected to the board in 2009, the same year as Boggs, said, “I want to know when the craziness is going to stop” and cited “incident after incident since 2009” that she said has given Jeffco a reputation as a dysfunctional board.

“The comment that was made was a completely inappropriate comment for the society we live in now and it was completely inappropriate for you to agree and laugh about it,” Johnson said.

Several board members spoke about the nature of the comments in a district that endured the Columbine massacre and, more recently, the shooting of two students at Deer Creek Middle School.

Boggs, the lone conservative on the five-member board, became the first board member in the history of the state’s largest district to be censured in 2010. Then, board members said their vote to censure was based on a string of “unethical behavior” that included Boggs’ threatening to derail a $32.8 million federal grant and to “tear this county apart” in a meeting with Stevenson.

Thursday, board member Jill Fellman asked a vote to censure Boggs a second time be placed on the agenda for the board’s Nov. 1 meeting.

A censure is essentially a formal public rebuke, but it carries no other weight.

Lesley Dahlkemper, the board’s president, said a censure “sends a message to the community.”

“Four of the five board members believe that this is completely and wholly inappropriate behavior by an elected official who serves as a role model to our kids in the community,” she said. “That’s the most important message.”

Boggs did not comment when her fellow board members agreed to place the censure vote on next week’s agenda.

“My apology is sincere. It was absolutely not intended as a threat,” she said after the meeting. “It was based on a comment about having a full-time Facebook person, which we all know we don’t. And while I appreciate the sensitivity to a community that’s been ravaged a number of times by gun violence, it was not meant to be taken in any way, shape or form as a threat.”

Boggs said her handwritten note to Stevenson was a sincere request for forgiveness “and I don’t know what else to do.”

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