by: Rachel Saurer
Posted: / Updated:
COLORADO SPRINGS — Following Wednesday’s school board meeting in Colorado Springs District 11, tensions continue to mount. Many parents in the school district said they were unhappy with the electing of three new board members.
“They ran on a problematic way which we thought would cause them to do problematic things when they were on the board. And that’s turned out to be true unfortunately,” said Michael Williams, D11 parent and co-founder of Neighbors for Education.
The board members in question, Reverend Al Loma, Dr. Sandra Bankes and Lauren Nelson, were running on platforms which spoke against the district’s equity platform.
“What equity is from a district perspective is making sure every single child has what they need to be successful,” Williams said.
Since they are members of a school board, Williams said this brought up some concerns.
“When we saw those board members were running on anti-equity, I’m like ‘Why would you even run then’? The point of running for the board is to make sure that the kids are taken care of,” he said.
Williams said he and the District Equity and Leadership Team focused in on one board member in particular — Rev. Loma — who Williams said already had a history. He said Rev. Loma was on the board previously, and then he resigned. In 2017, he was on the board at Star Academy where he had a marred history, according to Williams. Given the history, he said Rev. Loma’s current behavior is not helping matters.
“He’s left board meetings early. He wasn’t at a board meeting yesterday. In addition to his lack of attendance and lack of attention to the job that he does have, the comments are making that even worse. Like, threatening to ‘gangster slap’ a community member?”
Now, Williams said he hopes the community can use their collective power to hold Rev. Loma accountable.
“Apologies…we’re past that at this point with him. There needs to be action. He needs to be held accountable for what he did, and that’s really what we’re looking to see,” Williams said.
Williams said he encourages any parent interested in getting more involved and making a change in the school district board may join his group: Neighbors for Education.