DENVER (CBS4) – Amid protests and shouts from angry parents, the Denver Public School Board said it has spent $50,000 on the investigation into Director Tay Anderson and sexual assault allegations against him. The board said it was prepared to spend even more money.
“It is critical to the our community that those who may have experienced sexual harassment are heard and supported, and that those who are accused receive due process,” a statement from the board said on Thursday afternoon.READ MORE: Start Making Family Plans As Tickets Go On Sale For Holiday Productions At Denver Center For The Performing Arts
Anderson is facing unconfirmed allegations of sexual harassment and assault. He has consistently denied the accusations.
“It’s affecting our district, our school, and it’s affecting our little sisters and our little brothers that have to go to that school. And that’s really all we should be worrying about is school. Not if our little sister is going to be the next victim,” said Gigi Gordon, a recent graduate from North High School.
Gordon organized a protest on Thursday that was sparsely attended. But a Title IX coordinator from the district was suspected of scaring away some students who wanted to attend.READ MORE: Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette Hosts Mental Health Hearing Focusing On Children During The Pandemic
“The girls are not here, but I think they’re intimidated, or they’re scared about showing up,” said Rebecca Kenderdine, a retired teacher from Colorado Springs who drove up with a few other teachers to join the protest. “I’m here to support and provide any help that they need or any guidance or direction because they don’t know what to do, they don’t know where to go.”
Gordon says she hasn’t picked up the diploma she has earned and won’t until Anderson’s name is removed.
“I worked 12 hard, long — incredibly hard through a pandemic –years to get my diploma. I’m also a sexual assault survivor and I just think to have somebody like that on my diploma is upsetting,” Gordon said. “It’s really just about the kids trying to find their voice.”
On Friday, Anderson’s attorney responded by saying his client was dismayed at the statement from the DPS School Board because he wasn’t made aware of it until it was issued.MORE NEWS: Littleton Police Officer Recovering After Being Shot, Suspects Remain At Large
“He fully and completely agrees with this appropriate statement, but regrets that six members of Board and their Counsel have apparently adopted an adversarial posture before the independent investigation has even been completed. I have personally reached out to DPS general Counsel, and Counsel for the DPS Board, neither of whom have responded to my outreach concerning why Director Anderson was not treated like other Board members regarding important public communications and handling this ongoing matter,” Anderson’s attorney Christopher Decker said in a statement.