Education, K-12 Transparancy, PERA, Sherrie Peif, Thompson, Top News

Student walk-out rumor leaves everyone in the dark

icon_blog_noteIf the rumor of a mass student walkout planned for multiple high schools in the Thompson School District is true, its organizers have done a good job of keeping it quiet from law enforcement and district officials.

Complete Colorado learned Friday of a possible walkout by students to protest a recent school board decision. It is supposed to occur Tuesday and involve at least two of Thompson’s high schools:

• Berthoud High School, 850 Spartan Ave., Berthoud

• Loveland High School, 920 W. 29th St., Loveland

• Mountain View High School, 3500 Mountain Lion Dr., Loveland

• Thompson Valley High School, 1669 Eagle Dr., Loveland

However, no one affiliated with the district knows of any such plans, said Michael Hausmann, Public Information Officer for the Thompson district.

“I do not have any information supporting that rumor,” Hausmann said in an email.

Additionally, both Loveland Police Sgt. Mike Halloran and Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said their departments had not been notified of a need for crowd control. Smith’s office handles policing efforts in Berthoud.

If a walkout or protest occurs it is likely for similar reasons as walkouts by students last year in the in Jefferson County Public Schools. Those were organized in support of fighting a board member’s proposed changes to Advanced Placement curriculum and a new pay for performance plan.

In Thompson, the battle has raged on recently over everything from moving many items currently in the teachers contract into a handbook, piloting a pay-for-performance model in 2016-17, and looking into having teachers share a part of the rising costs of retirement and insurance benefits — to name a few. The board’s conservative majority has been escorted to their cars by police after meetings, and the Colorado Education Association has gotten involved by circulating an online petition that has no oversight.

It recently came to a head Wednesday when the board voted 3-3 to reject the negotiated teacher’s contract for the 2015-16 school year. This walkout is suspected to be in support of the Thompson Education Association, the local bargaining union.

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