Letter from Harrison School District raises concern for some parents

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s a letter meant to show support to students and families of Harrison School District 2.

But one mom says it does just the opposite.

It was written by the district’s superintendent, Andre D. Spencer, saying, “Issues surrounding immigration, civil rights, human rights, and racial inequalities resonate strongly within our diverse district.”

The letter sent to Harrison District 2 families
The letter sent to Harrison District 2 families

“The part that really bothered me was that it was directed towards one group of children, rather than all the children. And I think in order to be fair and non-biased that it should be directed to all children and their needs. It also was a sounding board for his political agenda, which I don’t think has any purpose or place in education,” said Kelly Lehman, a parent of a student at Harrison School District.

Lehman says she’s not against any child getting an education, but was upset to see a list of certain resources, which she sees as solicitation.

“It’s almost like he’s trying to initiate fear in order to line the pockets of his buddies,” Lehman said.

Lehman sent the district an email saying, “immigration is not a matter in which you should be concerned with.”

She adds the superintendent is neglecting the duties he was hired for.

“I feel that the job of Mr. Spencer is to act in a role of an educator. And by soliciting services you’re not acting in your role as an educator. And to me, soliciting services is a violation of code of ethics and he needs to follow those. Those code of ethics rules are put in place not to protect the school system, but himself as well, and he’s not doing that,” Lehman said.

We reached out to the district and they tell us their board of directors is well aware of the letter and that there was no violation of their code of ethics.

They tell us a similar letter was previously sent out after the presidential inauguration.

The district released this statement:

“Harrison School District Two’s Superintendent, Dr. Andre Spencer, addressed the topic of Immigration in a letter to parents last week.  The letter was not prompted by a single event, but rather by parents, students and staff concerns that were being shared at the campus level.  These concerns have focused around immigration, civil rights, human rights and racial inequality.  The District provided the letter to highlight that all students, staff and families would be safe and supported in our schools.  The District also wished to provide resources for families and students who might need them.”

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