DPS: Sexual assault claims against board member Tay Anderson will be investigated

Anderson denies the allegations.

DPS school board member Tay Anderson speaks to a crowd that gathered in Sept. 23, 2020, following a Kentucky grand jury's announcement in the Breonna Taylor case.

DPS school board member Tay Anderson speaks to a crowd that gathered in Sept. 23, 2020, following a Kentucky grand jury's announcement in the Breonna Taylor case.

Alyson McClaran for Denverite
(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

The Denver Board of Education said it has hired a firm to investigate allegations made against school board member Tay Anderson.

The board has hired Investigations Law Group to look into the allegations. According to a statement from the board, Anderson supports the investigation, calling it a “fair and thorough process.”

“In our role as a Board, our first commitment is to serving the students, employees and community of Denver Public Schools,” the board’s statement reads. “We want to create space for all members of our community to be heard, while we also ensure a fair process for everyone involved.”

Anderson said in a statement he welcomes “any and all fair investigations” into the claims against him. He said he was grateful to DPS for launching an independent investigation and said he would cooperate.

“I have done nothing which would substantiate claims of sexual assault or unlawful behaviors,” Anderson said in the statement. “There are still no criminal investigations, charges or specific allegations which I can even respond to.”

The first public accusation of sexual assault against Anderson came on March 26 in a tweet posted by Black Lives Matter 5280. The allegations were from a woman the organization said had approached Black Lives Matter 5280 in February. The woman’s identity was not revealed.

Last week, six women-identifying former members of gun control advocacy group Never Again Colorado, where Anderson served as president in 2018, said in a letter to reporters that Anderson acted inappropriately during his time leading the organization, allegedly creating an uncomfortable and unsafe work environment.

Anderson was elected to an at-large seat on the board in 2019.

The board said it wouldn’t make additional statements until the investigation is completed. It encouraged anyone who wants to contribute to the investigation to contact the firm at interviews@ilgdenver.com.

“The Board looks forward to an independent view of the facts while we continue to serve the DPS community and focus on the important work of identifying a new superintendent and supporting our schools and students as we continue to reinvent education in the midst of a pandemic,” the statement read.

Anderson rose to public prominence in Denver last year after becoming the face of demonstrations against racism and police violence. Anderson was a key figure, often speaking at rallies and protests and serving as an unofficial MC.

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