Amid calls to apologize, Adams 14 board pledges better handling of public criticism

Chalkbeat Colorado: The Adams 14 school board on Tuesday pledged to do better when handling public comment. What they didn’t do, despite pressure, was apologize to the person they escorted out of their last meeting.

Two weeks earlier, board president Connie Quintana asked a police officer to remove the head of the state association for bilingual education, Jorge Garcia. At the time, Garcia had been criticizing district staff about poor academic performance, among other matters.

Tuesday’s remarks on the incident didn’t come from Quintana, but from the newest board member, Sen. Dominick Moreno, who was appointed over the summer in part for his ability to build bridges in the community. Moreno acknowledged things could have been handled better and said “hopefully they will be.” He noted that the board wants to encourage criticism and would like to create a “safe and welcoming environment for all.”

He added: “We do ask that people refrain from personal attacks. It’s fine if you use names, but please keep comments as constructive as possible.”

Adams 14 is on a state-mandated improvement plan after failing to raise student performance for eight years in a row, and the district faces a check-in later this fall after again failing to improve ratings. The struggling district is in the process of considering a long-range plan and also how to rehabilitate its image in the community.

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