Editor’s Note: Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, American Friends Service Committee, Convivir Colorado, Transform Education Now, Colorado Jobs with Justice, and Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition are releasing a statement of solidarity to alleged survivors of sexual assault allegations against School Board Director Tay Anderson. Director Anderson allegedly targeted undocumented immigrant youth in Denver Public Schools, prompting this response.
The Denver Public School Board of Education has announced that it is aware of new sexual assault allegations against School Board Director Tay Anderson. There are allegedly 62 young people who came forward about a man in a “position of trust,” 61 of them are allegedly undocumented or DACAmented students and one recent graduate. In March of this year, a community member with support from Black Lives Matter 5280 came forward with assault allegations as well. These allegations became subject to an ongoing independent investigation. We are deeply committed to defending and protecting our undocumented students and community members from all forms of oppression. Undocumented people already face the fear of family separation and should never have to fear the physical presence of an educator. We believe schools should be a safe place where all students feel welcomed, valued, and cared for.
We stand in solidarity with all survivors of sexual violence. All survivors should know they have rights regardless of their citizenship status and are legally protected. We work to protect the rights of undocumented families in Denver and stand in solidarity with organizations like Black Lives Matter 5280, and the Blue Bench both of which believe survivors and defend survivors of color.
The safety of undocumented students is not negotiable. Sexual assault and harassment are not and will not be tolerated by our organizations.
The safety of undocumented students is not negotiable. Sexual assault and harassment are not and will not be tolerated by our organizations. We demand that DPS be proactive in allocating the appropriate mental health resources for all students, protect the confidential information of all the assault survivors involved, and hold all accused educators accountable by removing them from having contact with students during ongoing investigations.
While the investigations are underway, we choose to believe women, and wish them healing. We recognize the courage it takes to speak out about something so painful and respect survivors who fear for their safety and decide never to come forward. Ultimately, all children and their families deserve a school community in which they find comfort, trust, and feel cared for and valued by their peers, teachers, and administrators. We hope that all people involved will choose our students first and put their safety at the top of their priority list.
If you or someone you love has been impacted by this news, and you need emotional support, you can contact The Blue Bench, a sexual assault hotline for anonymous, confidential 24/7 support at 303-322-7273 (English) and 303-329-0031 (Spanish) or the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center at (303)-825-3850 (Both English and Spanish).
Padres & Jóvenes Unidos; American Friends Service Committee; Convivir Colorado; Transform Education Now; Colorado Jobs with Justice; and Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.
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