DENVER — Denver Public Schools (DPS) board voted 6-1 to censure Director Tay Anderson Friday afternoon. The lone 'no' vote was Anderson.
A censure is a formal statement of disapproval.
An investigation found allegations of sexual assault against Anderson were unsubstantiated, according to a report from DPS.
Investigators did substantiate claims that Anderson engaged in flirtatious social media messages with a 16-year-old while he was a board member.
“Some may feel this resolution is too strong. Others will say it did not go far enough. What I can say is it is a step forward. We are accountable for our actions and must hold each other accountable," Denver Public School Board President Dr. Carrie Olson said.
Anderson said he would not resign, and would complete his term as director until 2023.
"Today is just a day for us to close this chapter and be able to move forward together," Anderson said. "The board has spoken. They censured me, which means they disapproved of my actions. Now it’s time to get back to work for our children."
In an interview with 9NEWS in July, Anderson said he stopped engaging with the girl after learning she was younger than him.
In a statement released Wednesday, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education said, "The most grievous accusations were not substantiated and the Board is grateful for that. However, the report reveals behavior unbecoming of a board member."
During the special meeting, board members provided statements about the investigation process and addressed Anderson directly.
"As a nation, we have a specific image of justice," Vice President Jennifer Bacon said. "Therefore, indicting a person before due process is an affront to justice."
"I do not believe you need to be removed from the board, but you do need to be held accountable for your actions," Bacon said to Anderson.
"The board does not have the authority to remove members from the board. Only voters can do that," Treasurer Angela Cobian said.
"The report details behavior that would have been grounds for disciplinary action for any DPS employee who behaved in the same manner. As duly elected officials, we have no power over each other. Outside of a resolution to censure, there is no disciplinary action we can take," Olson said.
"I hope Director Anderson reconsiders his participation on this board as secretary," Cobian added.
Anderson shared his accounts of how the investigation has brought threats against him, his family, and his child.
Anderson held a news conference ahead of Friday's board meeting. Protestors showed up and exchanged words with Anderson and his supporters.
After the meeting, Anderson said he is exploring all options when it comes to legal action. Anderson did not make it clear if actions would be sought against those who made allegations, or the school board.
Anderson plans to hold a town hall with hopes to move forward, welcoming those who are both for and against him.
"On March 26, 2021, false allegations led to my life-changing forever," Anderson said in a statement. "That was the day I became known as a rapist to our community, does anyone listening know how that feels? To know you didn’t commit an act you’re being accused of, but having people believe it and call for your career, your freedom, and your life to be over. Does anyone listening know how it feels to get a call from your parent saying they were attacked in a grocery store by an individual who believed what they had seen on social media, does anyone listening know how it feels to have your child separated from you because of false allegations, does anyone listening know how it feels to have your grandparents death mocked on social media due to false allegations, does anyone listening know how it feels to learn that your 13-year-old sibling was threatened to be raped due to false allegations against you, does anyone listening know how it feels to have messages about how your four-month-old child would be shot in their head due to false allegations against you. All because of the words of one white woman. None of you in this room have ever lived a day in my shoes as a Black man in America."
9NEWS live streamed the news conference and the board meeting. You can watch it in the player below or on the 9NEWS YouTube channel.
During the board meeting, Anderson read a number of threatening, vulgar and profanity-laced emails that he said had been sent to him.
At the end of his comments during the meeting, Anderson said he's ready to get back to work for Denver's students.
During the roll call vote to censure, Board President Dr. Carrie Olson took a little bit of time before ultimately voting in favor of censure.
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