Julie Williams(Photo: KUSA)
KUSA - A video produced by a libertarian activist group is upping the emotional ante in the Jeffco School
Board recall election.
The video, created by the Independence Institute in Denver, accuses recall supporters of bullying a school board member's child who has autism.
9Wants to Know has not found anyone with indisputable proof whether the bullying incident discussed in the video actually happened, but the video has spawned passionate debate in the community.
Watch the video: https://youtu.be/MZF43VSnE90
Julie Williams is the board member who faced backlash in the fall of 2014 when she pushed for a review of the district's AP U.S. History curriculum to ensure it would promote patriotism and not condone civil disorder.
Williams' son attends Standley Lake High School where students and teachers staged protests.
According to the Independence Institute video, "Her special needs son, Randy, became an unwitting pawn as recall supporters had him march with a protest sign against his own mother."
On camera, Julie Williams said, "He started crying, and he said, 'Mom, they don't want you anymore.'" Williams said the incident "scarred" him forever.
The video ends by asking, "Who are the real bullies?"
"It was disturbing - absolutely disturbing," Support Jeffco Kids co-founder Shawna Fritzler said. She is a leader of the recall effort, which actually began months after the AP history protests. She calls the video an "untrue story."
"Julie Williams is ignoring the fact that there was an investigation done," said Fritzler
9Wants to Know obtained a copy of a year-old Jeffco School District memo saying when Williams brought these concerns to them in September 2014, employees reviewed school videos, talked to the principal, and called Williams to say they were "unable to substantiate that such an event had occurred."
"You then accuse staff of not doing their jobs of keeping kids safe and accuse all the other kids at Standley Lake High School of perpetrating bullying, or inappropriate behavior, or misconduct, or even crimes ...it's reprehensible," Fritzler said.
"You weren't the one up with my son every night with his anxieties and crying," Julie Williams said in an interview with 9Wants to Know on Thursday. "You don't understand. This boy couldn't make something like this up."
In September 2014, Williams told a reporter that she didn't think her son was necessarily forced to participate in the protests at his school. She echoed that Thursday to 9Wants to Know, saying she does not think a particular teacher or student coerced Randy. She said the teen originally thought he was leading a parade.
The Independence Institute stands behind Williams' story and their video, adding its purpose is not to garner a sympathy vote.
"I think people, particularly in Jefferson County, need to know how heroic these board members have been and the personal attacks that have happened to them and their families and to their kids."
With less than two weeks before three Jeffco School Board members face that recall vote, there is much division and much animosity.
No matter what the vote, Williams said, "Nobody is winning in all of this."
(© 2015 KUSA)