Douglas County Board of Education President, Meghann Silverthorn, and board member Dr. Judy Reynolds appeared on KLZ’s Rush to Reason show Monday, to present their perspective on the recent controversy surrounding a student-organized protest this spring, opposition to their actions in anticipation of that protest, and the resulting fallout, which including an independent investigation into their actions.
In the interview, Silverthorn and Reynolds claim their only concerns with Douglas County student Grace Davis’ protest were for student safety and helping Ms. Davis understand her First Amendment rights, and that they had no intention of dissuading her or pressuring her to cancel her protest. The board members explain that they therefore arranged to meet with her privately.
That meeting was surreptitiously recorded by Davis and has become the latest center of contention around conservative board members, their policy agenda in reforming the district, and accountability for their actions.
During their interview Monday, co-hosts John Rush and Dan Muerer editorialize extensively, presuming to speak for Silverthorn and Reynolds, qualifying their remarks with caveats such as, “You can’t say it, so I will.”
Rush is critical of Davis, condescendingly calling her “little gal” and disparagingly referring to her as “little student from hell.” He questions her capacity and competence to independently derive her own positions and opinions, as well as to organize a protest as a 15 year-old student.
The hosts insinuate that Davis must have colluded with activist parents and teachers’ union members. In apparent agreement, Silverthorn points to the presence of “an interesting character” at a gathering of protesters outside a school board meeting — identified as the president of the Jeffco Education Association — as evidence of this collusion.
Yet, Silverthorn admits in this interview that while she expected that Ms. Davis would have “handlers” helping her, she was surprised to not find any evidence of others involved in the protest, and the press release announcing Ms. Davis’s protest.
Ms. Silverthorn states in the interview that she has purposely avoided impugning the character of Grace Davis during her discussion of the controversy. However, both she and Dr. Reynolds say nothing as the radio host inappropriately characterizes the student based on false and negative assumptions, and criticizes the parenting of Ms. Davis’s parents, inferring that they have coddled and spoiled their daughter.
The board members end their interview with a plea for cooperation and productive dialogue with a focus on what’s best for the school children of Douglas County.
Listen to the entire interview here.