DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A Douglas County school board member stepped down during a public meeting Tuesday night, saying the board is failing students and employees.
Elizabeth Hanson's resignation came at the board's regular meeting Tuesday night, in which the board was set to discuss revisions to the district's equity policy.
"I am stepping down from my role as a director, effective immediately, because politics and ego are the primary agenda of this board," Hanson said in announcing her resignation.
She said the board is not doing enough to stop racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.
Board President Mike Peterson wants to refine the district's diversity policies beyond their current focus on race, gender identity and sexuality to include things like diversity in learning preferences and skills.
The board's conservative majority supports the changes, saying the policy should serve the entire community. The board minority, which Hanson was a part of, said the proposed changes were about watering down the policy so much that it would become meaningless.
Hanson also said the board broke the law with its February 2022 firing of Superintendent Corey Wise.
Wise alleged in a civil rights complaint that four DCSD school board members illegally fired him for his work on behalf of minority children and students with disabilities.
That lawsuit was settled in April. Wise's attorneys said DCSD paid Wise $270,733.61 owed to him for the remainder of his superintendent contract and also paid him $562,000 to resolve all of Wise’s claims stemming from his unlawful termination.
"There are egregious things happening on this board right now," Hanson said in her resignation. "My hope is that by calling attention to them in the biggest way possible, by refusing to continue to be a part of this, the people in our community will become more aware and will ultimately become a part of the solution, which we so desperately need right now."
Hanson's current term would have ended in November. The board will select her replacement.
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