The Colorado Times Recorder has obtained chat logs from the Discord server of the Colorado Springs activist group Advocates for D20 Kids, which has advocated against LGBTQ-inclusive policies and books in Academy School District 20. Members of the server, which functions as the group’s online chat platform, include two sitting D20 board members, Tom LaValley and Nicole Konz, as well the Cortney Salt, wife of Aaron Salt and organizer with education nonprofit Engage the Rockies. Other members include both conservative board candidates, Derrick Wilburn and Amy Shandy, former Moms for Liberty co-chair Darcy Schoening, D11 Achievement Alliance spokesman Joel Sorensen, Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR) activist Joseph Boyle, as well as D20 staff members.

Wilburn is one of the primary organizers within the Advocates for D20 Kids Discord server. Wilburn has long been involved in conservative politics, serving as the executive director of Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, and hosting the podcast “Uncle Tom Talks” on the Conservative Daily website, which is owned by Douglas County election conspiracy advocate Joe Oltmann, who has claimed that public school teachers “recruit kids to be gay” and has suggested that LGBT-affirming teachers should be “dragged behind a car until their limbs fall off.”

Wilburn’s journey to education activism began in August, 2021, when his public comment on critical race theory at a District 49 board meeting went viral. The manufactured outrage over critical race theory in D49, spread by Wilburn and others, led to the election of Ivy Liu, whose tenure saw loss of two members of D49’s executive leadership team, and her censure for quoting Hitler. Liu was recently arrested for felony charges of ​​menacing with a weapon and false imprisonment.

Wilburn at the D20 mask protest.

Following his viral public comment in D49, Wilburn took part in a protest at the D20 Education and Administration Center in September, 2021, where he urged the crowd to call every school board candidate and ask them their position on masks and vaccines. During that election, LaValley, Konz, and Aaron Salt were elected, flipping D20’s board to a conservative majority.

In April, 2022, Wilburn spoke at an election conspiracy event at the Denver Capitol headlined by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who was served with a defamation lawsuit during the event. Other speakers alongside Wilburn included former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is currently facing felony charges for a breaching the security of Mesa County’s voting machines, “America’s Mom” Sherrona Bishop, Oltmann, and other prominent election conspiracy advocates.

Wilburn at the Lindell event.

Wilburn has also made a number of appearances at Church For All Nations in Colorado Springs, warning about the dangers of After School Satan Clubs, Naruto manga, and books about progressive politics and LGBTQ people. Last month, Wilburn appeared alongside Church For All Nations’ pastor, Mark Cowart on Andrew Wommack’s Truth and Liberty call-in show.

Wilburn’s comments in the Discord server shed more light on his organizing activity in D20 and his attitudes towards LGBT people, constituents, and current board members.

In August, 2022, Wilburn urged members of the Advocates for D20 Kids Discord to sign a petition to remove the “curricular” status of D20’s Gay Straight Trans Alliance (GSTA) clubs. The letter accompanying the petition, provided to the Discord by Wilburn, notes, “These flyers discussing gender and/or sexuality have no place in our schools and certainly should not be placed in hallways for all to see and read. Many of our children have expressed strong feelings of unease over such materials being displayed, thus their sense of ‘belonging’ is being threatened. As a result, the schools are creating comfort for some students at the expense of others. We believe the current club policies and lack of boundaries regarding club postings are not fostering a culture of belonging for all students; in actuality, the environment in some schools is quite the opposite.”

In response to an April, 2023 post from a Discord user calling trans health care a “death cult” and equating LGBT-affirming policies to “child abuse,” Wilburn responded, “We’re all devout Christian conservatives & all, including Kris [Garofalo, who is Wilburn and Shandy’s campaign registered agent], stand in complete agreement with you on the topic of LBGT grooming & the dangers it presents.”

In December, 2022, Wilburn warned the Discord, “ITS ALL HANDS ON DECK ADVOCATES, ITS JUST THAT SIMPLE.  WE NEED EVERYBODY!!! Every lesbian in El Paso county is going to show up at tomorrow night’s BOE meeting breathing fire. If ever there was a time for you to personally get in the game, this is it.”

Last month, the district took action against the GSTA clubs, as recommended by the Advocates for D20, according to reporting from KRDO.

Wilburn’s animosity isn’t just directed at the LGBTQ community broadly. Wilburn regularly singles out El Paso County Democratic Party 1st Vice Chair Rob Rogers in the Discord. Following a June straw poll for conservative board candidates, Wilburn referred to Rogers as “that lying, cheating, immoral, satan-worshipping s.o.b.,” 

In February, Wilburn posted, “I’ve been dealing with my feelings toward certain characters on the left (no need to name names, you all know) & thinking about a jokingly told prayer by John Hagee years ago wherein he said, “Bless ’em, Lord, ….with a brick!” and have frankly been saying to myself – if something horrible where to happen to [fill in this blank – Rogers, Matisek, Hoff, etc.], well, my response would be less than Christ-like.”

Members of the Discord have also targeted employees of D20. In August, in response to the Colorado Springs Gazette’s coverage of D20’s actions on books identified by the group, Brian Moody, the Advocates for D20 Kids chairman, posted, “Once Derrick and Amy are elected we need to fire Allison Cortez [D20’s Chief Communications Officer] and Tanya Thompson [D20’s general counsel]. This whole article is just Cortez, Rogers and behind the scenes Thompson at work. If there was a Playboy magazine being handed out by a school librarian, no one would dispute Tom [Gregory, superintendent]’s authority to step in and stop it. Tom assessed these books to be pornographic (and in violation of obscenity laws) and removed them. Once big bad Rogers stepped in, everyone got weak kneed and put the porn back in its rightful place for our children to access.”

Wilburn has also mentioned incumbent candidate Heather Cloninger, posting in April, “Advocates, and please plan to attend this very important event next month.  I’m constantly working on things behind-the-scenes and for months I’ve been putting together ‘OPERATION HEATHER TAKEDOWN.’  OHT will get formally & for the first time publicly rolled out at this event on 5/16.  Let’s pack the house!!!”

The event in question was hosted by conservative activist group Spunky Patriots and saw Wilburn speaking alongside Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Executive Director Taylor Rhodes.

Wilburn also used the Discord to communicate with D20 board members. “THANK YOU @Tom Lavalley for sticking to your principles, not backing down last Thursday night, putting it right in Heather Cloninger’s face and for knocking this whole ‘book banning’ narrative completely out of the ballpark,” wrote Wilburn in a June post. “You allowed Heather Cloninger to show the world who she really is & what values she & those who adore her truly hold. They WANT PORN in our schools. She came right out and said it into a microphone and with cameras rolling. Nowhere to hide on this one. Good job, sir.”

The presence of LaValley and Konz in the Discord could potentially raise concerns of violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law, should Wilburn or Shandy win election. Three or more members constitutes a quorum.

“It’s not a violation of the open meetings law for two members of a school board to discuss school board business on Discord or any other kind of electronic platform,” said Jeff Roberts of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition in an email. “But if this online community then includes a third or fourth member of the board, those members must be careful not to discuss any public business related to the school board’s policy-making responsibilities. Otherwise, it’s a “meeting” subject to the requirements of the open meetings law, which means they’d have to let the public attend somehow. And if it’s a five-member school board, they’d have to provide full and timely notice of those meetings to the public. Hard to do for an invite-only online forum that most people probably haven’t heard about.”

During a recent candidate forum, Wilburn touted his endorsements, which include a number of prominent Republican politicians such as U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who has numerous ties to white nationalists such as Nick Fuentes.

Wilburn did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

The election is Nov. 7.

This is part one of a multi-part series. Read part two here. Read part three here.

The chat logs go back to last August and can to be downloaded here:

To view the file, first, save this Viewer file to your computer. Then you can open the downloaded viewer in your browser, click Load File, and select the chat logs to view.