NewsCovering Colorado


Woodland Park School Board President wants to retract trespassing ban on former employee after ACLU lawsuit

Posted at 8:00 PM, Aug 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-04 22:04:41-04

WOODLAND PARK — A former Woodland Park School District (WPSD) employee is suing the district, its board members, and the superintendent after he was banned from all school properties. Now, the board president said he wants to make amends.

Logan Ruths, who previously worked for WPSD as a Network Administrator and Records Custodian, said he was escorted out of a school board meeting on June 14 after making a remark in response to a speaker during public comment. Ruths said he found the speaker's comment to be offensive toward the LGBTQ community and students in the district.

When the speaker was finished, Ruths commented, "Where else do you do comedy at? I'd like to come see one of your shows." School Board President David Rusterholtz told him to stop interrupting the meeting and that he would call the police if he did not leave. Police eventually escorted Ruths out of the meeting.

The next day, he received a letter from Brad Miller, an attorney representing the school district. The letter alleged that Ruths had on multiple occasions acted in a verbally aggressive, and sometimes physical, manner. The letter stated that because of his disruption during the June 14 board meeting, he was in serious violation of the law. The letter goes on to ban Ruths from all WPSD properties for over a year.

"It's very obvious that they are trying to scare other people into not wanting to speak up through intimidation and through the letter that they sent me," said Ruths.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit on Thursday on behalf of Ruths stating the trespassing ban was unlawful and violated Ruth's First Amendment rights.

A day after the lawsuit was filed, Rusterholtz told News5 he wanted to retract the trespassing order on Ruths.

"I welcome him back. I don't want him to be held away from the school and I did have that conversation with Mr. Miller earlier today, that I would like to have that trespassing order removed," he said.

Rusterholtz said Ruths had been menacing during two previous board meetings, which factored into their decision to ban him from school properties. He said he is waiting to hear back from the other four board members and the superintendent before retracting the ban.
Steve Zansberg, a First Amendment attorney in Colorado, said school boards have the right to remove someone from a meeting if they continuously interrupt. He said he does not believe Ruths' behavior during the June 14 board meeting was disruptive. Zansberg said school boards do not have the right to ban someone from future meetings because of an outburst.

“To bar someone from any future meeting for one year because of a single incident is just not going to be accepted by any court of law," he said.

Ruths said he is waiting until the trespassing order is officially removed before reevaluating the lawsuit.

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