Former DPS students: Tay Anderson was like another student and made us uncomfortable

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In a stunning hour one of a Saturday night interview with Jimmy Sengenberger on 710KNUS, former DPS student GiGi Gordon, who organized the petition earlier this week to issue new diplomas without Tay Anderson’s name, to DPS students, recounted her experiences with Anderson.

Gordon graduated this year from North High School in Denver. She is passionate about helping sex trafficking and sexual assault victims and hopes to run a non-profit agency for such causes by the time she is thirty-five. Gordon runs the Facebook group End Human Trafficking Everywhere, which according to its description, is “dedicated to spreading awareness, advocating for victims, sharing victim stories, sharing protests and petitions on human trafficking and pedophilia.”

Gordon began matriculating at North High School at the end of her sophomore year, at which point she met Tay Anderson. Gordon described to Sengenberger that Anderson had a very “close and personal relationship with a lot of the kids at North.”

“For me, I had actually thought he was a student at first…” recounts Gordon. She then described how Anderson gravitated towards students who were “low income, or just facing drug problems, or just people that kinda needed more attention.”

Anderson is accused of assaulting or raping at least 62 children, 61 of which are undocumented or Dreamers.

Gordon said that “he definitely knew too much about the students and their personal lives and personal affairs…” According to Gordon, Anderson usually knew the North high school drama, such as the goings on of the new “it couple” before most students. Anderson also would tell students “your hair looks good” or “your makeup looks good.”

Gigi Gordon went on to describe how “gut-wrenching and heart-breaking” it is to hear allegations that Anderson threatened undocumented children victims with their immigration status.

Gordon’s two hour long interview with Sengenberger painted a picture of a man who believes he’s still a high school student. She described how Anderson would hang out and stand near student circles in intimidating fashion, and that students and staff at North High School were split in how they felt about Anderson. While some believed his close relationships with students were endearing and helpful, others felt the relationships were unprofessional.

Gordon described, “I’ve worked so hard for my diploma, and so have so many other kids. And it’s just infuriating.” Gordon created the diploma petition after creating another petition for Anderson’s arrest.

“As soon as I made my first kind of post about it and started talking about it, I had a huge frenzy of kids come to me and say, “I’m so glad somebody is finally speaking out about this. He always made me feel so weird, so uncomfortable…”

“Young children, people that aren’t even graduates…we care about our peers, we care about our community, and we are about the world we live in.” Gordon went on to describe to Sengenberger that she and many others students feel that Anderson’s career has been prioritized by the DPS board above the collective and individual traumas of students who were victimized by this one man in a position of authority. Their voices, by way of DPS’s lack of action, have been largely ignored.

Priscilla Rahn, a DPS teacher, called into the show and thanked Gordon for using her voice to elevate and protect students. Brenda, a DPS graduate, called into the show in tears and also thanked Gordon, as she survived a similar assault on her student years. Gordon told Brenda, “someone needs to think about the students and not the accusers.” Brenda exclaimed that the DPS board should’ve kicked Anderson off the board last year when he was stirring up problems in Denver with his “foul language” and behavior. Both Sengenberger and Gordon agreed with this sentiment.

Gordon believes Anderson deserves the “worst punishment” possible due to his alleged preying on minors and vulnerable people. As Gordon’s petition grew, by time of Sengenberger’s Saturday show, over 600 people had signed it.

On Thursday at 4pm, outside Denver City Hall, students and other community members will gather to protest Anderson’s continued tenure on the DPS Board of Education. Mary Katherine Brooks Fleming, the activist who broke the allegations of 62 Anderson victims, will attend the event, as well as several media personalities. In an ironic twist of fate, since the adults aren’t listening, students are using Anderson’s own tactics of protests and social media noise against him, to ensure that their voice is louder than his.

Gordon, who graduated just weeks ago, has surely given a voice to the children who have not been heard by DPS and already has more of a positive impact on DPS and the students than Anderson.

In our next piece, we will discuss “Alexa from Denver,” who called in during Hour 2 of Sengenberger on KNUS. Alexa lived through the trauma of a rape inside a DPS bathroom and was largely ignored or mishandled by DPS staff after her rape, leading to massive trauma and unimaginable feelings of mistrust in “the adults.”

~Darcy Schoening

The Colorado Herald