School administrator pulls gun on staff

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Aurora, Colorado: home to the 2012 movie theater mass shooting that left a city, and a nation, in mourning, once again questioning what the Second Amendment means and how it should be implemented; now also home to Aurora West College Preparatory Academy, where an administrator brandished a gun at a staff meeting on Wednesday, threatening fellow employees at the school.

Tushar Rae, Dean of Instruction at the school, was arrested Wednesday on charges of bringing a concealed weapon to school and making violent threats. An arrest affidavit filed in district court says Rae took a gun from his waistband during a meeting with principal Taisiya Tselolikhin (say that name three times, fast) earlier that day, placed it on a table between them and threatened to shoot two school administrators.

The altercation apparently had something to do with test scores, and subsequently prompted a lockdown of the school while Rae left the premises – he was later arrested at his home.

A letter to families, which follows below, was made available in both English and Spanish via email and the school website. As usual, vagueness was the order of the day.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE AURORA WEST LOCKDOWN

APS Community:

I know that many of you may have questions about the lockdown that occurred at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy on Wednesday. First off, I want to thank the students and staff at AWCPA for following our safety and security protocols seamlessly. I also want to thank parents at AWCPA for their patience and support. Safety is our top priority.

We acknowledge that many of you have questions and may be frustrated. Please know that this is both an ongoing criminal investigation and personnel matter. We have many limitations we must adhere to in order to respect both processes.

During emergencies, we understand the urgent and important need to communicate with our community. Please know that we always work to share information that is timely, accurate and actionable through phone calls, emails and text messages. We cannot share information that is not confirmed, information that would compromise an ongoing criminal investigation or protected personnel information.

We have been working closely with the Aurora Police Department, Denver Police Department and other law enforcement agencies as their criminal investigation continues. Our focus remains on providing as much support to our students, staff and community as possible.

Many of you may be seeing media reports that have raised concerns. APS staff have met with AWCPA staff, students and families to address concerns. We appreciate the opportunities we have had to talk with the school community throughout this week.

We know that this event has been upsetting for students and staff. We have had and will continue to have counselors available for those who need support. Counselors will continue to be available at Aurora West on Monday and throughout next week.

I would like to thank the AWCPA family for your vigilance, teamwork and support. It has been an extremely tough week and we will continue to work together to heal, support our students and each other.  

Rico Munn
Superintendent
Aurora Public Schools

Aurora West College Preparatory Academy, located just 15 minutes from where the mass shooting in 2012 that left 12 people dead and 70 injured, has a 3/10 rating on GreatSchools, citing low test scores (in some cases as low as 2% passing — far below state averages) and poor college readiness – proof, I think, that a fancy-sounding school name is not enough to get prepare youth for college. The school also boasts a 95% minority student population.

Educator accused of taking gun to school, threatening staff

GreatSchools – Aurora West College Preparatory Academy

Dean at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy arrested after lockdown

Aurora West Preparatory Academy – Official Website

The high cost of sexual assault in schools

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image courtesy Aurora Police Department

As if it weren’t enough that the victims of sexual assault in schools carry their pain and trauma into adulthood and often for the rest of their lives, school districts often face the payment of huge settlements to try and make up for the placement of a pervert in the classroom.

Cherry Creek School District in Arapahoe County, Colorado, has reached a $11.5 million settlement with five victims of abuse by one Brian Vasquez, a 34-year-old former social studies teacher at Prairie Middle School. He has pled guilty to charges of sexual abuse and attempted sexual abuse, and according to officials, has admitted to sending explicit text messages to all five victims and having sex with at least two of them.

That’s not all: it emerged that one victim attempted, way back in 2013, to report the abuse to school officials, including a principal and counselor, who did nothing with the information. Both were indicted on misdemeanor charges for failing to report the allegations to police. It’s alleged that at the time the victim made the allegations, she was not only forced to recant her statements and apologize to her abuser, but was then suspended from school.

Cherry Creek School District encompasses 65 schools in the Denver/Aurora area. In their budget report they project the per-student spending for the 2018-2019 school year to average about $8,100. The $11.5 million settlement paid to the 5 victims equates to the education budget for over 1400 students within the district. Two million dollars will come from the district’s insurance policy (because, hey, you’ve got to be prepared for things like this, am I right?), and the remaining $9.5 million will come from budget reserves.

Prairie Middle School has received a poor grade of 3/10 from GreatSchools, citing test scores well below the national average and lack of support for lower income children (who make up about 75% of the student body). Parent feedback about the school is mixed.

Vasquez will be sentenced later this week, where he faces up to 40 years in prison. He taught at Prairie Middle School for seven years. Prior to that, he worked in two other Colorado school districts.

Vasquez has two young children.

School District Announces $11.5M Settlement With Students Sexually Assaulted By Teacher

Prairie Middle School teacher Brian Vasquez now faces 31 felony child sex charges

Cherry Creek School District to pay $11.5 million to 5 students who were sexually assaulted by a teacher

Cherry Creek School District Profile of Student-Based Budgeting for Schools FY2018-19

Prairie Middle School on GreatSchools.org

Surprise, surprise: Less school improves morale and performance

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Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

This may seem like common sense to many of us, but school districts in rural Oklahoma and Colorado are just now jumping on the bandwagon: less school apparently leads to greater student success.

Four-day weeks have been implemented in many small schools, undoubtedly eliminating the time spent on needless political and ideological indoctrination and placing the focus back on academics, forcing parents to spend an extra day with their children and fostering better relationships that, of course, result in happier, brighter, more receptive children.

This doesn’t take into account the benefit to teachers of having a four-day work week. Good teachers (you know, the ones that aren’t degenerates or pedophiles) often experience burnout after very little time within public schools, due to the long hours, unnecessary busywork, “character education” (i.e., brainwashing under the guise of “acceptance,” and of course, teachers’ unions, which do little to actually help teachers and a whole lot to help the Democratic Party.

Of course, as the push for four-day school weeks moves toward urban centers, there will be backlash, as parents who work will have to coordinate child care, or leave children unattended. Of course, teachers’ unions lobby for more money in spite of the shorter weeks (higher salaries for teachers equate with higher union dues paid to them).

Shorter weeks? Longer hours? “Better teachers” through higher pay? Year-round school? Distance education? There are many questions related to improving public schools and increasing student performance, but after the research, the debate, and the experimentation, the conclusion often arrived at is this: the public school system is inherently flawed, and no amount of corrective measures will make it adequate.

Four-day weeks bring smiles in rural schools. But will they work in big cities?