Education

Parent to DPS school board: Address Bromwell teacher Mary Pishney's situation now

Two months ago, Chuck Crowley stood in front of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education and told its members that something fishy was going on at Bromwell Elementary School. A group of difficult parents was trying to get his daughter's former first-grade teacher fired, he said, warning the boardmembers that if they didn't act to save Mary Pishney's job, they were going to "have a liability."

Crowley plans to appear before the board again tonight, this time with a copy of last week's Westword cover story about Pishney.

"I just want to re-emphasize the stupidity" of not nipping the issue in the bud, Crowley says. "Here we are two months later, and it's gotten worse." Pishney has been on sick leave since February, after getting her first negative teacher evaluation ever from Bromwell's new principal.

The board's monthly public comment session will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight at the DPS administrative building at 900 Grant Street. Typically, these sessions don't turn into heated back-and-forth discussions.

The same can't be said, however, for the online comment section following Westword's story about Pishney, where dozens of commenters have weighed in. Crowley says he plans to print out the comments and give them to the board members.

"They look bored to death up there, so that will give them something to read," he says.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar