Denver district’s ban of outspoken parent raises questions about boundaries of criticism

Chalkbeat Colorado: Parent Brandon Pryor has been a harsh critic of Denver Public Schools for the past five years. His criticism, voiced at meetings and on social media, has been loud and plentiful — and often aimed at people and systems that he believes are hurting Black students. 

His criticism has also effected change. The district banned the handcuffing of young students after Pryor spoke out about it happening to his then-7-year-old son. The district reopened a comprehensive high school in a Black and Latino community after relentless advocacy by Pryor and others. And in an unprecedented move, the district helped Pryor found a separate high school modeled on historically Black colleges and universities.

But Pryor is now banned from that school and nearly all others. In mid-October, the district served Pryor with an eight-page letter banning him from district property, except the schools his sons attend. The district also barred him from volunteering as a football coach and from speaking during the public comment portion of school board meetings.

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