Tensions were high at Tuesday night’s Douglas County School District board meeting following a report deeming two DCSD directors innocent of any wrongdoing. The report was ordered after President Silverthorn and Vice President Reynolds engaged in a highly contested one-on-one meeting with 15 year old student Grace Davis. Denver7’s Mark Boyle exposed a verbal altercation between Board Members Doug Benevento and Wendy Vogel when they thought the cameras were done rolling.
Vogel approached Benevento after the board meeting and asked if he had tried to say something to her earlier in the evening.
Benevento responded, “I think you’re unethical and I think you’re a hypocrite, and if you think, the rest of my time on the board… I can promise you will be very difficult on you guys.”
Vogel calmly responded, “OK, very good, have a good evening.” Benevento countered, “Oh, you too… I can’t wish you the same.”
The exchange between Directors Benevento and Vogel followed a tense board meeting in which hundreds of parents and students demanded the resignation of Directors Silverthorn and Reynolds. Parents, students, and community members are angered that the directors got away with what many deem as inappropriate conduct between board members and students. Parent Patti Hickey announced that she was outraged that Silverthorn and Reynolds are getting a pass simply “because of policy loopholes and semantics.”
Scores of community members were escorted out of the meeting after chanting for Reynolds and Silverthorn to resign. President Silverthorn adjourned the meeting shortly after as the crowd continued to shout “resign” from outside the room.
The post-meeting exchange between Directors Benevento and Vogel suggests that the tension within the community on this issue has permeated the environment of the Douglas County School District Board. Neither Benevento nor Vogel immediately responded to comment on this issue.