Category: Andrea Haitz

First Congregational Church welcomes trans kids amid furor over School Board President Andrea Haitz’s transphobic memes

The First Congregational Church sign (Photo: Shirley Zimmerman Kodis)

After the uproar over anti-transgender memes District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz posted recently on her personal social media accounts, the First Congregational Church at 5th and Kennedy in Grand Junction took steps to make it clear to the public that their church welcomes transexual kids. The church is directly across the street from Grand Junction High School.

Church Administrator Beth Rakestraw said on her social media account that “Transkids are loved and welcomed at my church!” The church describes itself on its website as a “progressive Christian community” and says “We welcome all people regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender preference, ability, and disability…At our church you don’t have to check your brain at the door. We believe that science and religion are not mutually exclusive. … No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

Haitz tried to walk back her posts by telling the Daily Sentinel that people had “misinterpreted” her memes because they “don’t understand satire,” but that was disproved after Heidi Hess of One Colorado revealed to the Daily Sentinel that Haitz belonged to the Facebook group Reboot 2022, whose mission statement says “Transgender is not an option.”

D-51 School Board President Andrea Haitz belonged to anti-transgender Facebook group

Screenshot of members of the transphobic Facebook group, Reboot 2022, taken on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, after which time her name was removed.

A May 13, 2022 Daily Sentinel article discussed the outrage District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz’s recent anti-transgender social media posts generated among people in the valley. 

In her own defense, Haitz told the Sentinel she didn’t mean the memes to be hurtful, and that she “has gay and lesbian friends.” Haitz said the “memes had been misunderstood” because “people don’t always understand satire,” and said that people “made up what they thought I meant by it.”

But people didn’t make up anything, and they most definitely did not misinterpret the intent of Haitz’s posts.

How do we know?

D-51 School Board President’s transphobic social media posts draw condemnation

District 51 School Board President posted this photo to social media recently on her personal account

Recent social media posts by District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz, and one in particular that she posted on Mother’s Day, are drawing condemnation, disgust and shock from many Mesa County residents who saw them.

Angry crowd faces down School Board at their meeting Monday, 2/7

Screenshot of the packed, angry but well-behaved crowd that faced down the new School Board President Andrea Haitz and the other new school board members Monday night, 2/7/22, as they made moves toward possibly firing district administrators. The screenshot is from a video taken at the beginning of the meeting, before the Board went into executive session to discuss the employment contracts of Superintendent Diana Sirko, Assistant Superintendent Brian Hill and the Director of Equity and Inclusion, Tracy Gallegos. An equal number of people were outside. A student in front is holding a sign that says “Don’t make me use my INSIDE VOICE!”

Haitz calls another D-51 School Board Special Meeting on short notice, this time to be held Wed., 2/9 @ 3:15 p.m. in the Butler Board Room

School Board President Andrea Haitz is clearly rattled in this 7 minute video of last night’s meeting (2/7/22, above), taken before the Board went into Executive Session. Her voice quivers, and she gets items for the meeting out of order.

District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz has scheduled another Special Board Meeting on Wednesday, February 9 at 3:15 p.m. in the Harry Butler Board Room at R-5, same location as yesterday’s meeting. Like the one on Monday night, this one was also scheduled with very short notice. People have noticed the time of day when Haitz plans to hold the meeting will make it difficult for teachers to attend.

Looks like District 51’s conservative school board majority is getting ready to fire Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Director of Equity & Inclusion

Meeting agenda quietly put up on the School Board’s website on short notice announcing a special meeting the next day to discuss employment contracts of the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Director of Equity and Inclusion

The District 51 School Board’s new conservative majority — Andrea Haitz, Angela Lema and Willie Jones — appear to be getting ready to fire School District Superintendent, Diana Sirko, Assistant Superintendent Brian Hill and Tracy Gallegos, the District’s Director of Equity and Inclusion, who was hired into that position in July, 2021.

The three Board members gave short notice about a special meeting to be held on Monday, February 5 at 5:00 p.m. discuss these three employees’ contracts with attorneys they just hired in January to serve as their own representatives: David Price and Tammy Eret of Hoskin, Farina and Kampf.

The Board members produced the agenda on Saturday evening, 2/5/22, and then quietly slipped it onto the School Board’s meeting website (pdf) on Sunday evening, 2/6/21.

Emails between D-51 Board Member Andrea Haitz and Brad Miller of Miller Farmer Law encourage Haitz to avoid RFP process

John Williams, District 51’s current in-house lawyer, graduated from G.J.H.S, served on the D-51 School Board from 2013-2020, then stepped down from the Board to serve as District 51’s in-house attorney, saving the District around $250,000/year, or about half what outside law firms were charging the District.

AnneLandmanBlog has obtained the internal emails exchanged between newly-elected School District 51 board member Andrea Haitz and attorney Brad Miller of the Miller Farmer law firm of Colorado Springs.

Almost soon as she was sworn in, Haitz started pushing to hire the Miller Farmer law firm to handle all of District 51’s legal work, which would mean firing the District’s current in-house attorney, John Williams, who currently handles most of the District’s legal work. Using Williams has provided tremendous savings to the District over using an outside law firm.

New conservative school board members violate CO Open Meetings Law, make decisions in secret

Newly-elected D-51 School Board member Andrea Haitz promised transparency, but is violating open meetings laws and attempting to enact policy without public comment. At about 4:43 into the meeting video, after a suggestion that the Board could get more information about potential law firms to hire, Haitz says “There’s a certain point where you can get too much information.”

It took no time at all for the newly sworn-in District 51 School Board members to violate Colorado’s Open Meetings Law (pdf), violate their campaign promises of transparency, and indicate their willingness to spend excessive taxpayer funds for no clear reason, and they did it all in one breathtaking move they sprang on everyone a full four hours into their first board meeting December 14.