Why Are Teachers Leaving Ponderosa High School?


Parker, Colorado: A student led protest today against the Douglas County School District’s superintendent, Dr.Elizabeth Fagen, at Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colorado will be held during school hours demanding to know why teachers keep leaving the school.

33 teachers have left Ponderosa High School over the past three years.

An online petition has garnered over 1500 signatures to #AskFagen why all their teachers are leaving and students have called a district wide strike outside during school hours to bring attention to the issue.

A second petition to remove Fagen as Douglas County School District superintendent has gathered 570 signatures.

The second petition claims the superintendent brokers “a climate of distrust and anger”, funnels away funds from schools and into administration” and cites a “draconian management style” for the reason teachers are leaving in droves.

“Our favorite teachers are leaving and we want to know why! People have expressed their opinions about this issue and still nothing has changed! 60% of staff and administration have left and switched districts because of the way teachers are treated. 30 teachers in the last three years have left Ponderosa High School. We are fed up! Stop driving away the teachers who actually care!”

Channel 7 News in Denver interviewed Rob Graham, a Ponderosa teacher for 16 years, who is leaving at the end of the school year. Graham said teachers are too afraid to speak out about their concerns and he supports the student-led protest in hopes it may force some change.

“I honestly hope it helps create open dialogue. I think the school board, the superintendent need to hear from the teachers where the teachers don’t feel afraid to say what they’re feeling,” said Graham.

Students self-organized the protest after seeing the #JeffCo student protests in 2014 over Jefferson County, CO school board curriculum censorship. Ponderosa students are hoping a mass walk-out will finally get them some answers as to why their school is hemorrhaging teachers.

Follow #AskFagen on twitter to support the #Ponderosa student protest.

Sign the petitions to support the Ponderosa students here and here. You can read the full press release from the Douglas County School District protesters here.


About Author

Erin Gallagher is a multimedia artist, translator and writer for Revolution News.