In response to numerous reports of "disruptive behavior" by Jefferson County Board of Education member Laura Boggs, a teacher's union has commissioned a special edition e-mail newsletter, "Boggs Watch," to document her "rogue" tactics regarding Jeffco teachers.
Earlier this month, for instance, Boggs reportedly took over a teacher's classroom during preparation for the state's standardized tests and called school "stupid."
Kerrie Dallman, president of the Jefferson County Education Association, says Boggs has been the subject of complaints throughout the district, and she feels her antics deserve more than a time out. The group is bringing an official complaint to the school board later this week.
"We're very concerned about Laura Boggs and her impact on the rest of the board and her impact on students," Dallman says. "Her behavior is certainly atypical."
In the second installment of "Boggs Watch," sent to members on March 22, the JCEA provides a digest of Boggs' recent visitations to schools and classrooms. Included is "Laura Boggs Strikes Again in Green Mountain H.S. Classroom," about a March 4 incident in which Boggs allegedly "interrupted student learning" during a lesson on acronyms and wrote vertically on the whiteboard an acronym of her own: S-C-H-O-O-L. According to Dallman, Boggs said "S" is for "stupid."
"Outrage is too mild a word," the newsletters states. Adds Dallman: "To insinuate during CSAP week to a group of students that school is stupid is just unconscionable."
According to Dallman, the teacher suggested that the word "stimulating" was a more appropriate description of his class.
Before taking over the class and writing the acronym, Dallman says, Boggs treated the teacher rudely and offered the following commandment to the teacher: "Okay, teach me; you can teach now."
Boggs refutes the claims that she acted inappropriately. "No, I didn't say school is stupid in a classroom," she says. Although she concedes that "stupid" had been written on the board, she stresses that it wasn't her doing: "I don't know. Honest to God, I have no idea where that came from."
Boggs declines further comment about the incident, deferring to Board President Dave Thomas. However, she concedes, "I am interested in how it play out. It's going to be very good."
Dallman, who along with the JCEA will make a formal statement to the county school board on Thursday regarding a review of its "norms and procedures," mentions other instances of alleged impropriety on Boggs' part. Among them: She says Boggs "crashed" a closed teacher's union meeting last month.
"Two weeks ago, she showed up to one of our bargaining meetings in the library [of Wheat Ridge High School]. It's a private meeting because we are bargaining against the board," Dallman says. "She totally crashed it, and she didn't walk into the open room; she hid behind a tripod with poster paper on it. I walked her out of the room, and I closed the door behind her.
"That was the straw," she adds. That's when her office began putting together "Boggs Watch."
Boggs refutes this accusation, too. "My son is going to Wheat Ridge High School next year, and I was dropping off paperwork," she says.
Here's the "Boggs Watch" item about the "S" word:
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Laura Boggs Strikes Again in Green Mountain HS Classroom
What would be your reaction if a school board member entered your classroom during CSAP week, interrupted student learning, and then proceeded to describe "school" as "stupid"? Outrage is too mild a word. But that is exactly what happened to a high school English teacher when his class was analyzing an author's writing style and use of acronyms. Once again, rogue school board member Laura Boggs was the culprit.
According to witnesses, Mrs. Boggs deliberately interrupted student learning in a high school English class that was studying the use of acronyms. Upon entering the class Mrs. Boggs launched into a series of questions, took a seat in the front of the class, said "OK teach me; you can teach now," and engaged at least one student in a side conversation. She then approached the white board and wrote the word "school" as if it were an acronym. Then, next to the letter "s," she added the word "stupid."
JCEA President Kerrie Dallman said, "It is important that we remember that all of this happened during CSAP week when teachers are desperately trying to keep their students motivated and focused. Those efforts are sabotaged when a member of the school board declares schools are stupid; the school board needs to put a stop to this atypical behavior by one of their own."
And here's the JCEA press release regarding Thursday's meeting:
Jeffco teachers ask school board to set norms
On March 25 members of the Jefferson County Education Association's (JCEA) Representative Council will join President Kerrie Dallman to ask the Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education to reconsider their action regarding Parmalee Elementary school and to set norms for board member's behavior when visiting classrooms in the district.
The request to norm school board behavior is the result of board member Laura Boggs' attitude and disruptive behavior when visiting a classroom at Green Mountain High School on March 4 during CSAP testing week.
According to witnesses, Mrs. Boggs deliberately interrupted student learning in a high school English class that was studying the use of acronyms. After taking a seat in the front of the class and verbally challenging the teacher--saying "OK teach me. You can teach now"--she approached the white board and wrote the word "school" as if it were an acronym. Then, next to the letter "s," she added the word "stupid."
JCEA President Kerrie Dallman said, "Teachers expect to face challenges anytime they walk into a classroom. That's just part of teaching. What they don't expect is that the challenge will come from a Jeffco school board member. And perhaps more disturbing is that this disruption occurred during CSAP week when teachers are desperately trying to keep their students motivated and focused. Those efforts are sabotaged when a member of the school board declares schools are stupid. The school board needs to put a stop to this atypical behavior by one of their own, and on March 25 we will ask them to do just that."
JCEA will make a formal statement to the board at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Dallman is a social studies teacher currently on leave from Pomona High School. JCEA, affiliated with Colorado Education Association and the National Education Association, represents over 5,200 teachers in the Jeffco Public Schools, the state's largest school district.
Maybe school isn't stupid, but Boggs is right about one thing: It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Maybe even stimulating.