A conservative group known for its affiliated militia has announced a “call to action,” encouraging followers to show up at a Dec. 7 Douglas County School District meeting slated to discuss equitable recruitment and retention of staff.
The group that identifies itself as Christian, FEC United, was founded by election denier Joe Oltmann, who has also called for the death of his political enemies and journalists.
FEC United members were asked in a Dec. 2 post on Facebook to personally attend the school district’s Equity Advisory Council meeting and provide feedback on draft recommendations meant to ensure diversity among school staff.
FEC United’s social media post alleges that Equity Advisory Council members believe the school district “should be guided by Social Justice ideology” and is “actively trying to find a way to inject it into our schools.”
It also links to a National Review article on the “dangers of Social Justice activism in classrooms.”
In response to the post, multiple people reached out to the school district to raise concerns about FEC United's call for attendance, including Equity Advisory Council member Cathy Lees, who asked for increased security and that the district rebuke the group.
“Please understand that these tactics have successfully silenced under-represented voices in our District,” Lees wrote in an email to the district. “It is not enough to provide security; the District must denounce this group's intent on silencing community members, especially students.”
Douglas County School District Communication Director Stacy Rader said the district will be increasing security at the meeting and will crack down on loitering outside of the building.
Last year, members of the United American Defense Force, an armed group associated with FEC United, showed up to a Cherry Creek School District meeting to speak out against alleged critical race theory in curriculum, according to reporting from the Colorado Times Recorder. United American Defense Force members, some clad in gray T-shirts, bandanas and sunglasses, stood outside the meeting and participated in public comment. In a photo from that meeting, none of the members attending were openly carrying firearms or other weapons.
Lees, who was at the Cherry Creek meeting when the United American Defense Force showed up, said while nothing illegal happened, people felt threatened.
“Men dressed in uniforms and masks do not need to do anything to intimidate people other than stand there,” she said.
Rader said the district doesn’t expect any threatening behavior, citing a similar incident elsewhere that went without incident.
“The meetings are open to the public and we want to hear from community members on varying viewpoints, but we also want to make sure it’s safe for everybody so we have increased security,” Rader said.