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Union activists and disenchanted residents protest against DCSD school board majority (Photo: WDABB)

OPINION: Dear DCSD Redshirts, We Will NOT Resign

If you are a concerned parent, then you need to know what is actually happening in DCSD

By David Burns, May 21, 2024 10:46 am

Author’s note: This is my personal opinion and does not represent the board or district of Douglas County Schools.

Four Douglas County School Board Trustees, Katherine Dickerson, Doug Englekirk, Susan Jansen, and me, David Burns, were elected to adhere to the values of Douglas County residents. As we are opposed to a politically progressive education agenda, we have been receiving continued public and personal attacks from left-wing, red-shirt activists, including three attorneys from our area. 

If some of you do not know what I am referring to, the “Redshirts” are a group of progressives who are backed by the national teachers union and other far-left groups. They promote an Anti-American, Marxist agenda that has infected our education system in Douglas County, and across the country, with disastrous results. (see below)

One of their goals is to get rid of the four trustees who were elected in response to Critical Race Theory, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) biases, and the transgender agenda in school curriculum and policy.

Former DCSD Trustee Robbe Lehmann (Photo: DCSD)

As the last election proved, most Douglas County residents do not want boys in girls bathrooms, locker rooms, or competing against biological girls in sports.

Douglas High school has already made ample accommodations for transgender students for the good of ALL students. There are four multi-use bathrooms and one multi-use locker room. 

Yet, a few biological boys still use the girls’ spaces. This is very concerning to many students, as well as their parents, who feel that this is destroying girls’ sports and their right to privacy. 

Some of our female students have said that they have to wait until lunch to walk across Highway 88 to use the bathrooms at the Maverick Station because they feel violated by the constant presence of a biological boy in their bathrooms. 

Our concern for student safety is paramount. Our concern for a quality education is equally important as Douglas high school test scores are terrible. 

Based on the information obtained through the Nevada Department of Education website, the proficiency scores are averaging about 33 percent. The test scores for our Hispanic and Native American students are worse, averaging 10 percent.  

In order to distract from the truth of what is actually happening in the district, three self-appointed attorneys, Richard McGuffin, Sharla Hales and Jim Hales, along with former Trustee (and sore loser) Robbe Lehmann, have ganged up against the Board’s majority who have been working tirelessly to help our teachers do what is best for all students. 

These three attorneys have filed lawsuits based on speculation. They have used intimidation and their friends in the media to cause as much chaos as possible. They continually file unsubstantiated Open Meeting Law violations and open-record requests that cost the district thousands of dollars in legal bills. 

These very same people who are abusing the system, now complain that the legal bills are breaking the district. 

Such blatant hypocrisy and dishonesty. 

Their favored and preferred board members, Linda Gilkerson and Yvonne Wagstaff, have multiple filings against them brought by the public, for actual violations. These complaints now sit in front of the Attorney General and Ethics Commission.

DCSD Trustee Linda Gilkerson (Photo: DCSD)

In numerous letters to the Record Courier and on social media, the Redshirts and local democrats have continuously called on the four trustees to resign. Additionally, these three activist attorneys have made false statements and threats against the trustees.  

Specifically, two of the Redshirts—Mae Hyatt and Leslie Hokenson– have been harassing and threatening the trustees for months. Hyatt said in an e-mail that she will never stop persecuting the trustees until they quit.

These threats are a form of blackmail and extortion in that they infer that the trustees must resign or they will be destroyed by any means possible. 

The trustees have tried very hard to take care of business of the schools, but the politically-motivated and frivolous law suits are draining the district’s budget by having to pay attorney fees. 

These legal distractions, along with the coordinated smear campaign, also divert from the work and business that needs to be done in our district. 

If you are a concerned parent who wants our schools teaching our children the fundamentals and core subjects needed to thrive, then you need to know what is actually happening. 

All of these law suits are being filed for the purpose of stopping us from doing what is best for students and what this community elected us to do. 

Understand one thing, Douglas County Schools have great teachers and staff, but our schools are failing our students and our teachers. Too much is put on our teachers’ plates more and more every year, giving them less time to focus on their core subjects and their students’ needs.

The majority of trustees believe that we must turn this around. 

We must treat all students equally.

Every student should have the opportunity to succeed.

Despite their threats and intimidation, we will not resign. 

Please stay tuned. More information from a special counsel investigation will soon be publicly available. 

Update, June, 5, 2024: We Deserve A Better Board (WDABB) responds:

The opinion article in its entirety violates Douglas County School District Bylaws under Article VII No. 070 Code of Conduct Section 7: “Trustees carry a public trust and should carry out their duties in a professional and courteous manner both as trustees and in their interaction with the public. Trustees should strive to present their views in a professional and respectful manner, avoiding personal attacks. Trustees should extend every courtesy to those who appear before the Board. Nonverbal communication must be respectful.” Additionally, Section G of Bylaw Article VII No. 070 Code of Conduct “Recognize that authority rests with the whole Board assembled in public meetings, make no personal promises and avoid any private action which may compromise the Board or its policies;.”

We Deserve a Better Board calls on DCSD School Board President David Burns to apologize for his False and Inflammatory Statements.

The truth is that President David Burns, along with Past President Susan Jansen, have worked to dismantle our school district. They led the call to fire Maupin, Cox, and LeGoy Law Firm, and Burns and Jansen have caused six key leaders to resign, (Keith Lewis, Joe Girdner, Adam Dedmon, Tony Magnotta, Mark Rhodes, and Caryn Harper), and we predict more will follow.

Change must happen. We Deserve a Better Board will continue to hold our Douglas County School Board accountable, and we support Melinda Gneiting and Erinn Miller in the November general election for school board trustees. Let’s return our focus on students and their needs.

You can read and download the entire WDABB statement here.

Editors note: An initial version of this article wrongly attributed this opinion-editorial to our editor. Due to technical issues, we were unable to correct the error to properly attribute this opinion-editorial to its author, David Burns. We regret the error and have taken steps to mitigate related and future circumstances. 



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9 thoughts on “OPINION: Dear DCSD Redshirts, We Will NOT Resign

  1. Mr. Burns you need not worry about Mae Hyatt and Leslie Hokenson…the four of you have done just fine proving your impotence to force feed a political agenda on the citizens of Douglas County.
    It amazes me how you praise Jeannie Dwyer in her handling three positions she has been forced to accomplish. She knows more about our community and the actual needs of our students than the four of you combined!. In an open meeting you stated how the process to find a new superintendent must be slowed down. During that same meeting the four of you leaned on her multiple times to answer questions you had no idea how to answer or procedurally how to address. How is it you fired a perfectly competent legal firm faithfully serving our community for over 19 years and in that same meeting force fed another legal firm down the communities throat.. Where was your process to slow down making sure we interviewed other firms? More Burns hypocrisy! It was just another part of a political agenda you should be fighting in Washington DC.
    You may be a majority on the board but you are in the minority of what the students, parents, teachers, administrators, and this mostly Republican based conservative community. You referencing the large opposition to the four of you as “ the Redshirts and local democrats “ is just one of the many false statements you stated in your article. An article, might I add sent to the Nevada Globe. It is a far right leaning political newspaper. Your cowardice prohibits you from submitting any thing local for fear of backlash and criticism for not listening!
    For another Burns hypocrisy you stated: “ We must treat all students equally.
    Every student should have the opportunity to succeed. Does that include the less than 15 students who identify as transgender?
    Joey Gilbert admitted in a meeting he was hired to get rid of Keith Lewis. That would be Keith Lewis our beloved former superintendent and Chamber of Commerce citizen of the year!

    1. “Far right leaning political newspaper.” A majority of our readership, contributors, and something called Newsguard who is the self-appointed, Democratic funded, rater and judge of news, would disagree. Thanks for reading our political newspaper.

    2. What Mr. Burns says is true. They have put these trustees under a microscope in the trustee life as well as their personal life. Last evenings board meeting was a great example where they “dog pack” on the trustees with verbal insults, lecturing them on bullying that they claim is in this article (OH Poor Mr. Lehman and the 3 attorneys) and then they (red shirts) themselves stepped up to the microphone to bully Susan Jansen for an ongoing stress related eye disorder that was diagnosed when she began this awful public service as a trustee. Leslie Hokenson is a prime example of a”kick a dog when their down” human being. Time and time again she attacks verbally and viciously, there is no compassion in the woman. I saw last night one of redshirts, Robb Lehman say something negative about “Trump voters in reference to the 4 conservative candidates and he got a rousing agreement and cheer from the red shirt gallery that is always there at the SB meetings. These are the people that feed the small flame of hate and anger in this dog pack. Shame on them and shame on the people that don’t know the history of this kangaroo court. Additionally the dirt that was supposed to become public knowledge regarding the investigation of misbehavior by a school employee was supposed to be released last night and again it was thwarted by the red shirt trustees. When this information eventually does become public knowledge the tarnish on the crown of “The Record Courier’s “Man of the Year” will be rust and dust. Additionally Trustee Gilkerson was in place as a trustee when these events occurred and it was white washed and covered up. Red shirt defenders do not want certain events from past to become public information. This also might be part of the reason that these red shirts are trying to remove the only layer of protection (trustees Burns, Dickerson, Englekirk, and Jansen) as conservatives want transparency on this and many other buried events. Things are not always as they are presented or seen. Look deeper.

  2. The four of you have absolutely no idea what is going on in our school district as you refuse to listen to teachers, parents, and even students when they try to speak about it. None of you have had children go to school in Douglas County and the only people I’ve ever heard stand up and support you are your friends the Starretts, and Muzzy’s. You haven’t done one single thing to better the schools for our children or teachers, you’ve created a toxic environment that has left school district employees fleeing for jobs outside of this county. Republicans and democrats alike in Douglas County agree wholeheartedly on at least one thing – the four of you should resign.

  3. Dave and the group he highlighted in this article are horrendous failures. In their time on the board, they can point to absolutely nothing that could be considered an “achievement” for either side of the political spectrum or our community. Dave is right in pointing out that the business of running the school district is not getting done, but that is a result of four inept board members following the advice of a chem-trail conspiracy theorist legal counsel; these “distractions” aren’t meant to prevent business from getting done, it’s to hold Dave and his team of LARP-ing imbeciles accountable.
    Dave, if I can make a suggestion: next time, just let chat gpt write this for you in a tone that doesn’t sound like an 80’s-movie-nerd-villains last monologue. The whiny tone and lack of evidence for your statements doesn’t really signal strong upper-lip conservative attitude.
    Good luck being held personally accountable in those lawsuits.

  4. Good morning Meagan Barth,
    That transparent tool appears to need a little sharpening.
    Have you ever attended or gone on line to view a DCSB public meeting? You should. You’ll find it more entertaining than any episode of Survivor or Big Brother. Be careful though, you may begin to see Burns, Dickerson, Englekirk, and especially Susan Jansen in a different light.

  5. Hmm, yes, Ed, “the Redshirts and local democrats”. At last night’s DCSD meeting this was witnessed when malcontent Robbe Lehmann publically disparaged Trump and “the Redshirts and local democrats” broke out in cheers. These “Redshirts” continue to wreak havoc on public education across our nation. Their progressive beliefs and actions continue to be ugly, damaging, and un-American. And BTW, how is it that Jeannie Dwyer was exempt from filing an application for the Superintendent position and least you forget Jeannie stated she, now, does not want the position.

  6. Yes, Megan, please return to a DCSD public meeting as I know you’ve been there in the past. You’ll see Ed’s comrades have not yet learned how to behave in a public setting. Last night one of these characters publicly cursed during the meeting in a fit of anger. Fortunately, our local law enforcement was on the ball and quieted her down. The public behavior of these redshirts continue to be an embarrassment to our community. They continue to be sore election losers.

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