From the beginning of the uprising by Jeffco parents and students, conservative Jeffco school board members and their allies (like failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez) have said directly (or implied) that community members are pawns of teachers' unions.
Even now, facing a recall election and massive criticism that again demonstrates the power of the grassroots movement opposing him, board member John Newkirk continues to whine about unions and outsiders--and their alleged foul play--without coughing up evidence of such nefariousness.
On KNUS 710-AM Monday, Newkirk spewed out a list of grievances, vilifying unions and others, and, in the process, demeaning the community.
Take a look below, but it's hard to feel sorry for Newkirk when he says stuff like, "I've had numerous constituents call me up saying, you know, there's folks in the schools that are really crossing the line, now." Hmm.
He provides none of the specifics you'd hope to hear from a responsible person who makes such accusations. This leaves listeners, even ones who are sympathetic to Newkirk, with no choice to but to conclude that Newkirk is mean, desperate, or worse.
Here's an exchange from KNUS Sept. 14:
HOST KRISTA KAFER: It's been a difficult couple of years as a board member pushing for reform. Of course, they have a right to do the recall. That's the law, and they're doing it. Or trying it, I should say. But some of the things they're doing to raise support for it, I have concerns, are not legal and certainly not ethical. What are you hearing?
NEWKIRK: Well, I think some of them have crossed the line. There are a lot of c4 groups, and I think by law, only 40% of c4 activity can be political. Which of course doesn't have any place in our schools, and of course electioneering doesn't - so I've had numerous constituents call me up saying, you know, there's folks in the schools that are really crossing the line, now. You know, at back-to-school nights - they'll have aggressive people there, some of them from out of the district, actually pursuing parents down the halls as they're going to their conferences or back-to-school nights, pushing literature on them that they don't want. I've also heard constituents complain that they've actually had people showing up at local high schools trying to register 16-or-17-year-olds to register to vote and even to the point where if they check that they're conservative, then they'll belittle them in certain ways. So, you know, that's not part of our educational goals here, to embroil our children in partisan politics. I've also heard reports that teachers are wearing their pro-union signs--uh, t-shirts and buttons and even sticking signs up in their classrooms. So, no, that's not appropriate.
Kafer didn't ask what in the world Newkirk was talking about. Where's the backup for these rumors and strange utterances, or for any specific info about these alleged activities? This leaves Newkirk sounding like a gossipy teenager with Kafer lapping it up.
Listen to KNUS 710-AM's Kelley and Kafer show Sept. 14, 2014: