DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — After a community member formally requested records, the Douglas County School District decided not to release the names of all the teachers who called out sick earlier this month to protest school board actions.
The person who filed the request withdrew it, according to district spokesperson Paula Hans. The district was expected to release the information on Wednesday before the request was withdrawn.
More than 1,000 teachers were absent on Feb. 3, and many went to a rally protesting the actions of the new conservative board members and to show support for then-Superintendent Corey Wise, who was fired the next day.
So many teachers were absent, the district canceled classes. While many families supported those teachers, others were upset.
On the George Brauchler Show on 710 KNUS, the district attorney said the names of those teachers should be made public.
“I do think it’s fair, if you’re going to use your public job to avoid the public classroom to teach my kids, the public ought to know who you are,” he said during a show on Feb. 2.
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KHOW radio host and attorney Dan Caplis agreed, saying in a statement to KDVR that “parents, as consumers of education, have a right to know which teachers they can count on, and which will abandon their children.”
But others disagree. “I’m fearful for these teachers,” Dr. Erin Anderson, an assistant professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Denver said.
“I feel like releasing their names in many ways could be dangerous, and could lead to doxing and potential attacks on social media,” Anderson said before the district made a decision.
She also thinks there are privacy issues the district needs to address. “This type of behavior will push teachers out of the district,” she said.
A similar case came up in Jefferson County in 2014. In 2016, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that teacher sick leave is not part of their confidential records and can be released.
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