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District 20 closes 2 schools Tuesday after discovering plans of “large-scale” protest

KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Two Academy District 20 schools will not have school Tuesday after the district discovered plans for a large-scale protest in front of the schools.

According to district officials, the Colorado Springs Police Department received a call inquiring about a "permit to conduct a peaceful protest at Chinook Trail Middle School tomorrow with approximately 1,600 protestors."

After being alerted by police of the situation, D20 decided to move students at Chinook Trail Middle School to remote learning and cancel school for Chinook Trail Elementary, which is next to the middle school.

D20 told KRDO the decision was made "from an abundance of caution" and to "minimize the potential learning disruption."

"This is not what we want for our students, especially coming out of a year of COVID. We want them in the classroom, we want them to have a learning environment that looks and feels normal and this is not what we want. It’s incredibly disruptive and we want them back to an environment where they feel safe and normal and this isn’t what we want," said Allison Cortez with Academy District 20.

The district still doesn't know who put in the request to hold the protest, but at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, they hadn't shown up.

Parents and students from D20 did stand outside the school to show their support for the district and its mask policies.

"I feel like students, teachers, and staff have been through enough the last 18 plus months. The whole goal is to keep kids in school and that is not accomplishing this goal, so I was very disheartened," said Laura Matisek, a D20 parent.

At this time, the district expects to resume in-person learning on Wednesday.

Chinook Trail Middle School became the center of a district investigation after pictures of a sixth-grader with a mask taped to their face began circulating social media.

Friday, D20 announced interviews from that investigation were completed and officials were analyzing all statements.

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Shelby Filangi

Shelby is a digital content producer for KRDO.com. You can learn more about Shelby here.

Comments

19 Comments

  1. I wonder why D20 won’t release the results? Maybe if they did, this whole fiasco could be avoided! What a waste to the already challenged learning environment for the kids! Shame on the protestors!

  2. What are they protesting? I do believe that needs to be part of the the request. Good job reporting on this.

  3. It really sounds like school staff and parents are all involved in the shenanigans. I’m starting to believe the mask thing was an inside job as there has been no true progress nor any real answers in the investigation…

  4. All this will amount to is a he said, she said. I wasn’t there nor involved, but I imagine this is what occurred. I imagine that a teacher stated, while advising a student to keep their mask properly placed on their face to pull it up. I Imagine the student stated something to the effect of “It won’t stay on my face properly, to wit the teacher snarkily replied by stating “tape it to your face”. I Imagine the student didn’t like the answer and decided to take the teachers snarky reply as an order to get the teacher back. The student probably then went and got some tape and took the picture as proof she accomplished what the teacher advised the student to do out of spite. Then social media happened and stories grew from there.

    1. Yeah, that’s almost exactly what I was thinking. Maybe the teacher even tosses a roll of tape at the student. That’ blue masking tape, it’s not like it adheres or anything. I bet the teacher, student, and parents all wish they’d never started down this path, better things to worry about, but the crisis culture won’t let things just go away.

  5. Turns out very few turned out to protest. Were they worried that they’d be called terrorists and have their lives ruined by authorities?

    1. the couple of people that were there with signs were “counter-protesters” -parents supporting the teachers and the school.
      None of the giant protest crowd ever showed up.
      Just shows people how to practically “swat” the school. Kids too.

      1. My guess is that the paperwork makes you check a box, 100 people, 500 people, 1000, or over 1500 and just to be safe they checked the highest box. Silly all around.

    1. Absolutely! What is better a civic demonstration held at a school that MAY have caused potential learning disruption for some students, or closing the school down for 2 days and forcing remote learning during those days and guaranteeing potential learning disruption for all students.
      truly the lesser of 2 evils…

      1. 25 years ago I worked in a school with almost 100% English second language, best group of young people I’ve ever known but they needed time with English to get up to speed by high school and they spoke Spanish in the home. The super decided it was a good idea to take a half day every single two weeks for in-service training. Completely didn’t care that this threw off the schedule for the students, killed their time in cla ss, and messed up the work schedule for parents who then left their 14 year olds at home to be bored and recruited by gangs. I don’t get how schools get away with this stuff, but they do.

  6. If the district closes the schools, the protestor’s win. If they allow the protest, it affects the kids for one day. If the protestor’s really wanted to protest, they would tip their cards by asking for a permit. If the crazy’s in Anti-faux taught us one thing, it’s that police won’t do anything when there’s a large protest.

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