D49 Board member posts Hitler quote, Board President responds

A Southern Colorado School District Board member is facing criticism after a post to her Facebook page.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 11:23 PM MDT
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Peyton, Colo. (KKTV) - A Southern Colorado School District Board member is facing criticism after a post to her Facebook page.

The post, included at the bottom of this article begins with a quote from Adolph Hitler. Board Member Ivy Lieu posted the quote earlier this week and today the School Board President responded with a post of his own.

A Few Words from D49 BOE President, John Graham

Friday, November 4,2022 – The following statement is created by, and posted on behalf of, John Graham, President, D49 Board of Education:

Dear D49 Family and community,

Recently, a member of the BOE posted a comment on social media, which some in our community have interpreted as an attack on our teachers and staff. This social media site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by D49.

Individual board members, acting outside of a BOE meeting, do not speak for the district. They are acting as individuals. Likewise, elected officials do not forfeit their 1st Amendment rights when elected to public office.

Furthermore, individual Directors of this BOE and this Administration have the highest regards and respect for our teachers and staff. They are the highest caliber of professional educators in our region. We recognize they work hard to educate and look after the wellbeing of the students in their charge. You all work hard to prepare the students entrusted to us for adult life. Our parents and community do appreciate and respect your efforts. You hold yourselves to a higher and professional standard and that is recognized.

D49 highly regards all of our Constitutional rights and our individual personal responsibility. We respect diversity of thought and experiences to include religion. We respect the hard learned lessons that history has taught us about intolerance and force over others. We respect an individual's right to free speech, even when we may disagree with what they say. Liberty over force.

That being said, a majority of the board find the individual quoted, and the quote that was used egregious, not in line with our cultural compass, and wholly unacceptable. I have implored the poster to retract the post or clarify it.

We always encourage spirited debate within the community. We encourage staff and our community to communicate in many ways with us. We further encourage members of the Board of Education and members of our community to be thoughtful in their comments and responses.

Think before we speak. Model the behavior we seek in each other at all levels. Treat others the way we want to be treated.

We recognize that as elected officials, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard and be careful that what we say may be construed as reflective of those we represent.

School District 49

While Grahm, the Board President is critical of Liu’s post, saying that it is “not in line with our cultural compass, and wholly unacceptable.” He also maintains that elected officials maintain their first amendment rights once elected to their respective potions.

Liu also provided 11 News with a statement.

As a member of the D49 board since my appointment in April 2021, I have been pushing for laser focus on the children’s academic performance from the administration. I feel we the society OWE the children an education with solid skills in reading, writing, and math, which are necessary components to have a successful life, regardless of profession of choice.

By highlighting the CMAS scores and the need for the administration and School board to focus on the proper priorities, I have been accused of attacking and blaming the teachers and principals. It is sad because I definitely know they are the hardest working, most dedicated professionals working on behalf of the children, and they need support from the administration and the BOE.

I have also been accused of promoting Hitler AND accusing our wonderful teachers of being Nazi indoctrinators. I don't know how to deal with that kind of gaslighting other than let the truth stand for itself.

Ivy Liu - D49 Board

One parent I spoke with says he was disturbed by the post.

“My gut reaction was that she does not belong on a board. I filed a formal complaint with the board the minute I saw it.”

He says he is worried that Liu is in position to vote on major decisions that affect two of his children that attend D49 Schools.

“I was a appalled honestly. As a parent of any student in general, but yeah I do have two children in D49 so it concerns me.”

“She chose to quote Adolf Hitler. There was intentionality. In the last few days of spoken with some Jewish individuals who tell me that you never quote Adolf Hitler. Whether it’s good, or bad, or positive it’s not somebody you quote.”

That parent, Tymm Hoffman tells me he plans to attend the next board meeting on Thursday to voice his concerns.

Both Liu and Board President John Grahm are serving terms which end in November next year. It is unclear if they will choose to seek re-election.

D49 Board member posts Hitler quote, Board President responds
D49 Board member posts Hitler quote, Board President responds(jack heeke)