Denver School Board Member Tay Anderson Will Stay Seated During The Pledge Of Allegiance At Board Meetings

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Tay Anderson, at the time a candidate for the Denver school board, uses a bullhorn to support teachers union members protesting outside DPS headquarters Jan. 24 2019.

Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson will not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at board meetings in protest of police shootings of black people.

In his statement announcing the move on Thursday, he listed the names of 13 people who died in police shootings or in police custody.

“Today, and everyday, I am reminded that Sandra Bland could’ve been me,” Anderson wrote. “Bothan Shem Jean could've been me. Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Jessica Hernandez, Marvin Booker, Paul Childs, and Ellijah McClain all could’ve been me.”

Since the announcement, he says he's received both praise and criticism for the move. He received a phone call Friday morning from a voter that said they regretted voting for him. 

“A lot of these people that are expressing disappointment are white individuals who do not understand what it means to live the life of a person of color,” Anderson said. “I understand and respect their opinions but I also wish that they would understand and respect mine.” 

Anderson was elected to his seat in November.