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D49 leaders call for school board member’s resignation after Facebook post quoting Hitler

Ivy Liu with fellow Board members
KRDO NewsChannel 13

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- An El Paso County school board member and district leader is calling for the resignation of one of their contemporaries, alleging a complete lack of self-control and lack of integrity. 

Ivy Liu, an elected board member for School District 49, came under fire after quoting Adolf Hitler on her private social media page last week.

Liu wrote on her personal Facebook page, “'He alone, WHO OWNS THE YOUTH, gains the future.' Adolf Hitler.

According to the Guardian, the quote was made by Hitler in 1935 as he encouraged young Germans to join the Nazi movement.

In the post to her private page, Liu went on to write “PARENTS!! GET INVOLVED AND FIGHT LIKE YOUR CHILDREN’S LIVES DEPEND ON IT, BECAUSE IT DOES!”

Liu then called on parents to fight back against Critical Race Theory or CRT. She claimed that those concepts are hidden in children’s education programs.

“Part of his success and also strategy is to train up young people to adopt the-the all ages, which is very horrible," Liu told 13 Investigates. "There was nothing you could not say that I was trying to glorify Hitler because of the sentence that immediately followed it, which is parents do not let this happen.”

13 Investigates is now learning that multiple high-ranking members of the district are calling on Liu’s resignation. 

On Thursday, November 3, a day before 13 Investigates’ initial report on Ivy Liu’s social media post quoting Adolf Hitler, School District 49 school board member and Vice Chair Rick Van Wieren sent an email to his colleague Liu. Calling on her to step down from her elected position. 

“Your absolute lack of self-control in your social media posting, complete lack of integrity in using aliases, and extremely poor choices of words to inflame the passions of your followers has done nothing but hinder any true progress in helping the kids of D49,” Van Wieren said to Liu via email. “The only way I can picture things really getting better for the district is for you to resign, and let someone who is actually a team player complete the term.“

Van Wieren tells 13 Investigates he believes Liu is groundlessly attacking teachers within School District 49. However, he says quoting Hitler is just the tip of the iceberg.

Six months ago, Van Wieren says the D49 school board stripped Liu of her committee responsibilities due to past complaints from senior staff within the school district.

“We probably haven’t had a week go by since she was disciplined where she hasn’t done something,” Van Wieren told 13 Investigates.

Van Wieren says he is a big supporter of the First Amendment, but "enough is enough."

Liu vehemently denies that her post quoting Hitler is an attack on teachers within D49.  

D49 School Board Attorney Brad Miller also wrote an email condemning Liu’s actions following the Hitler post. In the email requesting Liu to resign, Miller accuses the school board member of acting “as a relentless demagogue outside of meetings.”

“This board can, and will, be the most effective in Colorado at reclaiming family values and trust in public education,” Miller wrote to Liu in an email on Nov. 1. “But it cannot do so while you are present because your conspiracy theories and personal attacks compel them to constantly be on defense.  You have singularly halted the most important and dramatic school reform effort in Colorado by acting selfishly.”

Miller declined an interview with 13 Investigates, however, the school board’s attorney said he hopes that the email to Liu speaks for itself. 

13 Investigates reached out to Liu for comment on the calls for her resignation. Liu provided this statement in response where she discusses past disciplinary action, calls for her to step down, and the post quoting Hitler.

D49 School Board President John Graham told 13 Investigates via email that D49 has “a policy overseeing employee social media content, but not one that governs BOE Director content as they are elected officials.” 

“I like the part of the policy where it says ‘when in doubt, don't post.’ It should apply to everyone,” Graham told 13 Investigates

Friday, the following statement was created by, and posted on behalf of the D49 Board of Education by President Graham:

Dear D49 Family and community,

Recently, a member of the BOE posted a comment on social media, which some in our community have interpreted as an attack on our teachers and staff. This social media site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by D49.

Individual board members, acting outside of a BOE meeting, do not speak for the district. They are acting as individuals. Likewise, elected officials do not forfeit their 1st Amendment rights when elected to public office.

Furthermore, individual Directors of this BOE and this Administration have the highest regards and respect for our teachers and staff. They are the highest caliber of professional educators in our region. We recognize they work hard to educate and look after the wellbeing of the students in their charge. You all work hard to prepare the students entrusted to us for adult life. Our parents and community do appreciate and respect your efforts. You hold yourselves to a higher and professional standard and that is recognized.

D49 highly regards all of our Constitutional rights and our individual personal responsibility. We respect diversity of thought and experiences to include religion. We respect the hard learned lessons that history has taught us about intolerance and force over others. We respect an individual's right to free speech, even when we may disagree with what they say. Liberty over force.

That being said, a majority of the board find the individual quoted, and the quote that was used egregious, not in line with our cultural compass, and wholly unacceptable. I have implored the poster to retract the post or clarify it.

We always encourage spirited debate within the community. We encourage staff and our community to communicate in many ways with us. We further encourage members of the Board of Education and members of our community to be thoughtful in their comments and responses.

Think before we speak. Model the behavior we seek in each other at all levels. Treat others the way we want to be treated.

We recognize that as elected officials, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard and be careful that what we say may be construed as reflective of those we represent.

D49 BOE President, John Graham

Thursday night, the D49 School Board of Directors will meet for a Special Meeting. According to the agenda, the board will go into executive session to discuss “potential board action related to matters under consideration in Executive Session.”

Board President John Graham told 13 Investigates they are having the Executive Session to address this issue. However, the School Board Attorney says a Board of Education has no authority under the Colorado constitution or statutes to remove a fellow director. Miller says that decision is solely left up to the voter’s discretion because it is an elected position.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.


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