Student coalition drafts petition to recall three D60 school board members

Posted at 10:23 PM, May 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 00:23:53-04

Max Markuson DiPrince supported D60 teachers during their week-long strike.
But now, after the protests have subsided, he and his fellow students are picking up where teachers left off and continuing their own fight.

"We were like ‘hey, you know, we are new voters, we are youth we gotta be engaged in this kind of stuff," said Markuson DiPrince.

Together, they organized the "Student Coalition for Our Teachers" and crafted a petition to recall board president Barbera Clementi, Vice-President Frank Latino and board member Robert Gonzales.
They students cite a lack of transparency and other issues that fueled the strike in the first place.

"We have to push forward on this so that we can make our school board better by holding our school board members accountable," added Markuson DiPrince.

The 18-year-old. met with the Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz on Friday, May 18 to make sure the wording and format of his petition coincides with the law.
"I was very impressed with him, he’s a very smart young man and I’ve never seen so much civic engagement from people so young," Ortiz said.

Once the petition is approved, the coalition must collect more than 23,000 signatures for each board member.
That number stems from a state statute requiring 40-percent of the votes cast in the election in which the board members were elected.
Ortiz says the clerk’s office is already requesting help from the state secretary to handle the workload.

"I’ve never seen someone have to get 23,000 signatures to recall somebody," Ortiz added. 
"I mean, it’s really kind of mind-blowing. They very well could get that many signatures and we have to have a plan in place for whatever event that happens."

But despite the daunting task, Markuson DiPrince and his team of volunteers are up for the challenge.

"We’re trying to engage as many people as possible so that they can also come together in Pueblo and formulate solutions," Markuson DiPrince said. 
"We’ll come together, find solutions and make our community the best not only for us but for future generations to come."