Right wing activist and self-proclaimed “America’s Mom” Sherronna Bishop and Kelly Kohls, director of school board leadership for Moms for America, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center deems an anti-government extremist organization, outlined their strategy to end the community-led effort to recall Garfield School District RE-2 board member Tony May during a secretly-recorded Zoom call obtained by the Colorado Times Recorder earlier this month.

Screenshot of Sherronna Bishop during the Zoom call.

May is facing a special recall election next month to decide whether he’ll remain on the school board after a community group collected more than enough required signatures to put his term in jeopardy. The Coalition for Responsible Education in RE-2 alleges May “used his position to marginalize, disregard and bully parents, staff and community members with whom he disagrees.”

Bishop, who served as Lauren Boebert’s campaign manager and continues to claim the 2020 election was stolen, began the Zoom call by asking everyone to turn on their cameras so she could check the names on the participant list. 

“None of those people are from Voces Unidas or PFLAG, right?” asked Bishop. We’re not recording right now, either. But if everybody could turn their cameras on for a moment so we can see each other, that would be awesome.”

Bishop has repeatedly claimed that Voces Unidas and PFLAG are behind the recall effort.

Bishop believed she was speaking to May’s supporters ahead of an in-person event she was leading at One Door Church in Rifle to defend him. She urged the participants to get ahead of the recall issue and start defending “our” territory. Otherwise, she said, they’re in for the shock of their lives as to what’s coming for every district in the state. 

“We’re in the land of the most progressive, insane pedophile governor in the whole world. He’s very excited about having all this access to our kids and for the end of Title IX…It may seem like we’re a little bit behind, and I think that that’s true. I really didn’t know about anything until I started receiving articles about Tony’s recall. I didn’t think this could seriously happen,” Bishop said. 

Kohls also admitted to knowing little about May but said she’s positive he’s a good school board member because “they want to take him out.” 

It’s unclear why Bishop and Kohls have a vested interest in the recall since neither live in the school district or Colorado. Bishop lived in Rifle at one time but has since moved to Texas. Kohls lives in Ohio but is also no stranger to Colorado. She and another person filed a lawsuit against the Falcon School District in Colorado Springs in 2023 after they were thrown out of a school board meeting for holding signs calling for three board members to resign.

Make Tony look like a victim

Kohls said that in addition to working with school boards, she trains community members to push them (board members) to “do the right thing.” “What I’m finding across the country is that we often elect some pretty darn good people, but they quickly turn into feckless bobbleheads,” said Kohls. 

She explains that because board members are forced to become cheerleaders for their district and are trained not to rock the boat, they often don’t understand their rights and responsibilities. 

She said the first step, which she’d already discussed with one of the district’s female board members, is to have the board call a special meeting to vote to reimburse May for his out-of-pocket and legal expenses. Colorado state law requires a district to repay a board member only if the recall effort fails, so while the board can vote to pay his fees, they’re under no obligation to do so.

Bishop said she’s spoken with Brad Miller, a conservative attorney representing many school districts across the state, to confirm the board can reimburse May and with board secretary Britton Fletchall to let him know.

Kohls said the second step is to have the board hire a public relations firm to explain why May’s recall was such a tragedy. 

“We’re going to make Tony look like a victim,” she said. “We’re going to have to clearly point out the bullies, and then we need the heroes. It’s a shame that in every scenario, guys, you know, there’s a victim, bully and a hero. That’s what we have to play in this one.”

Kohls then recommended starting a Facebook page with the district’s name followed by “the truth or exposè. “Then, start posting like crazy. You want to look humongous. You start posting articles and op-eds, anything you can to get to the media. There are only two things that get school boards’ attention: headlines and litigation.”  

“Then you have little business cards, or little index cards three and a half by five business cards that you write up you have printed out and you leave them everywhere. So that everybody goes to read your words, your information,” said Kohls.

Tony is doing what we wanted him to do

Bishop called on the participants to put more pressure on the school board and superintendent Heather Grumley. “Tony has done exactly what he said he was going to do. He’s doing what we wanted him to do which was to clean house and provide real education for a completely failing district.” 

Garfield RE-2 School Board President Tony May
Garfield RE-2 School Board President Tony May

Since May took office in 2021, no high-profile members of the RE-2 administration have been fired. Bishop said, “Your attorney there for your district was supposed to be replaced immediately upon the new board being sworn in. And he was not. And that’s also why Tony is in this mess. You have the biggest idiot for an attorney for that district. I apologize if you guys like him, I really don’t care. I think he’s an idiot. He is not doing his job. He’s part of the go-along, get-along gang. And that was not supposed to happen. He was supposed to be fired.”

Bishop claimed their efforts got former board member Ann Guettler fired, but Guettler was term-limited and couldn’t run again when May was elected. She also said Guetller was putting up her boyfriend, Scott Bolitho, to challenge May, and they couldn’t let that happen. Bolitho is in a relationship with Guetller, but according to Willow Brotzman of the Coalition for Responsible Education in RE-2, Guetller had nothing to do with his selection. 

May also failed to get the school board to adopt the American Birthright Standards, a set of conservative social studies standards the Colorado State Board of Education rejected in 2022. Brotzman said May’s reaction to losing is part of why the recall effort went forward. She says he was belligerent in emails to parents and used his position on the board to bully staff members who disagreed with him.

May did not respond to an email request for comment. This article will be updated with any response received.

The propaganda machine is ours

On the Zoom call, Bishop went on to attack the Biden administration’s release of updates to Title IX, which forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Schools can face several penalties for violating Title IX, the most severe of which is to lose federal funding.

Kohls added, “Federal funding is a very, very small percent of the district’s operating revenue, and they have never removed federal funds. They have threatened to plenty of times for school districts violating some kind of federal act, but they have never ever in the history of the federal government removed funding from any school.”

Kohls said she would love the district to refuse to comply with the new regulations. “If the federal government or Biden’s son wanted to, they could come in and take whatever, $500,000, it’s not a lot of money.”

However, according to Garfield County RE-2’s 2024 adopted budget, the district receives $3 million or 4.6% of its total operating budget from federal sources. A loss that significant could impact the district’s operations.

“The propaganda machine is ours,” said Kohls. You show children sitting at a desk with a leaking roof or with their coats on because they’re so cold their school district can’t afford P.E. because Biden took the money that they’re supposed to heat their buildings with.

“We can play the propaganda machine, and we can beat them at this.”