Regan Benson plans showdown with state board of ed over "outspoken" son

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Bryce Benson.
Regan Benson isn't afraid to speak her mind, and neither are her kids, including son Blake, who made news for sporting a "Nobama" banner during Michelle Obama's visit to Dakota Ridge High School, and Bryce, who ex-guv candidate Tom Tancredo backed in a controversy over wearing a "Border Patrol" T-shirt. And today, she plans to give the Colorado Board of Education an earful over Bryce's expulsion, which she sees as politically motivated.

"It's a vendetta," maintains Regan, who's actually banned from stepping on Dakota Ridge grounds. Speaking about herself in the third person, she says, "His mother is not allowed on the property, because his mother uncovers a lot of corruption at this school."

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Blake showing off his "Nobama" banner.
The Benson clan made national news in November 2008 due to Blake's protest of the future First Lady's speech at Dakota Ridge. According to the ACLU of Colorado, which later rose to his defense, Blake was ordered by school officials to leave, and when he refused, officials had him handcuffed, searched and arrested for interference, an offense that carried a possible six month jail sentence and a $750 fine. In addition, he was suspended from school for a day.

The following May, authorities decided not to prosecute Benson, and in January 2010, we reported that the ACLU dropped plans for a lawsuit on his behalf after the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Jefferson County School District agreed to pay $2,000 apiece by way of an apology for the incident.

Things didn't go as smoothly for Bryce last year, when he made headlines of his own. As we noted in a post linked above, Bryce claimed that he was prevented from riding a school bus to a September football game in Pueblo because his "Border Patrol" T-shirt was perceived as offensive to other students -- and he subsequently received a three-day suspension as a result of the incident.

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Bryce holding a cowboy hat and showing off his "Border Patrol" T-shirt.
In the weeks that followed, the tale became a subject of fiery debate, with KHOW's Peter Boyles featuring it on his show and Tancredo speaking on Bryce's behalf at a Jefferson County School District meeting. But in a letter to parents, Dakota Ridge High School principal James Jelinek insisted that claims of discrimination against Bryce for exercising his right to free expression were false. He said the student in question was told he couldn't ride the bus because he was harassing a male cheerleader, not due to the shirt, and accused Bryce and Regan (although not by name) of lying about the actual events.

What happened next? According to Regan, "They deemed Bryce habitually disruptive. By state law, any school district has the right to boot out a habitually disruptive student if they suspend him three more times -- and they did suspend him three more times, in less than sixty days," for offenses that included being being "willfully defiant and insubordinate" to administrators and fighting at a nearby Sonic restaurant -- considered a "nexus" to campus.

Bryce insists that he was merely defending himself in the latter dust-up, and Regan sees the other accusations as "fabricated" and "embellished" -- assertions school officials reject.

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Bryce and Regan.
The upshot of these suspensions was a letter recommending expulsion (it arrived on election day, Regan notes) that marked the start of a long and laborious process. In her words, "The superintendent signed off on the expulsion. Then we appealed, and they held a hearing with a hearing officer who had to make a determination -- and afterward, the superintendent had to say, 'I agree with that,' which she did. Then they sent us a formal letter, and we got one more appeal to the board of education," whose members voted to uphold the expulsion on January 19.

This verdict meant the only Jeffco facility Bryce could attend in order to complete his senior year was Brady Exploration School, whose curriculum is designed for non-attenders, drop outs and those who've been expelled. But Regan rejected that option and asked officials to instead provide Bryce with the resources to attend Arapahoe Community College. When this request was nixed, Bryce dipped into his savings to pay for classes himself.

Regan is proud of Bryce, who she calls "outspoken, a leader, someone who can stand his ground." And she plans to do likewise today at 3 p.m. at the Colorado Board of Education's ongoing meeting; for more information, click here.

"Three p.m. is their time for public comment," she says, "and I'm going to get it all on the record -- what's happened, what's transpired."

In response, she expects that the boards members "are all going to look at me with blank stares." But that doesn't dissuade her from speaking her piece -- not that anything ever has.

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More from our Politics archive: "Tom Tancredo tweets about murder of Arizona rancher Rob Krentz, presumably by an illegal alien."


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33 comments
Matt
Matt

Why don't you tell your kids to stay out of trouble at school and stop acting like a jackass, high school is not the place for protest if he wants to do it on his own time fine but during school is not the place, sounds like your teenagers need a beating. This is what is wrong with America is we hold everyone else responsible for our actions.

Guest
Guest

Anyone interested in buying a "White People Are Evil" tee-shirt?  Two for ten dollars!

johninlongmont
johninlongmont

yeah, Jeffco may lean right, but the school district employees sure don't

JustSayin
JustSayin

Why can't this kid's issues be resolved the old-fashioned way...a daily ass-kicking until it gets so bad his parents have to home-school him.

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

MurrayRothbard
MurrayRothbard

What are the odds that, while wearing his Border Patrol shirt, Bryce came across a Pueblo Indian who was also wearing a Border Patrol shirt. How awkward might that encounter have been?

guest
guest

Her son was expelled for harassing and bullying other students. Many incidents were cuaght on security cameras in the school's hallways. I feel sorry for her children. they have not had a good role model from their mother about how to treat other people.

guest
guest

Blake?  or Bryce?  or does she have two sons?  me so confused

bigriggs
bigriggs

Suspended for wearing a Border Patrol t shirt? What a joke.

Regan Benson
Regan Benson

Oh yeah? And you are who, too afraid to identify yourself, ya know, the old-fashioned way?

johninlongmont
johninlongmont

and your source for that data?....you can claim anything, but you got some proof?

alsoguest
alsoguest

Two sons as stated in the first few sentences.  It sounds like the loudass jerk apples don't fall far from the loudass jerk tree. 

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Regan has more than two sons -- but the two cited in the story are Blake and his younger brother, Bryce. Thanks for reading and posting.

JustSayin
JustSayin

It's the internet, momma.  Nobody's actually advocating violence.  It's just a question that could've easily been answered: "because that is illegal and wrong," but instead worked as the blog-bait that it is.

The "old-fashioned way" would've been for his parents to instill some values and principles. But clearly that won't be happening.

So tell us again, how many incidents does it take to get expelled?  Then you got about 5 levels of appeal?  Seems to be a resounding affirmation of the expulsion.  And this is in staunchly right-wing Jeffco?

Man, you know it's gotta be bad for an avowed right-winger to be thrown out of school in a staunchly right-wing Jeffco.

Justsayin2
Justsayin2

"It's a vendetta," maintains Regan, who's actually banned from stepping on Dakota Ridge grounds. Speaking about herself in the third person, she says, "His mother is not allowed on the property, because his mother uncovers a lot of corruption at this school."

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Right the world revolves around you.  You are worthy of a vendetta. 

Keep encouraging your child to ruin his life.  I hear there's a great job market for kids expelled for bullying.  Make room in your basement.  It's gonna have a lifetime tenant.

Guest
Guest

I'm your son, Blake.  You never said your proud of me.  You always favored Bryce....waaaaaaah.

Twisted
Twisted

Sorry, Speer Boulevard.  I didn't want to misinform other potential sources of income.  Buying Natty Light and Marlboro Reds is really important to a child's education.

Twisted
Twisted

Was that a real attempt at a response?  I actually pity you and yours.  I'll be sure to toss you a few quarters as you beg for change near the stoplights along Spear Boulevard.  Cheers!

Me La Pelas
Me La Pelas

I hope you aren't the real Regan Benson in the article.  What do they say about removing all doubts as soon as you open your mouth...

Regan Benson
Regan Benson

And you are, who? Oh, hiding, definitely not mommy's pride and joy are you.

Twisted
Twisted

Come on, then.  Let's hear what the junior moron has to say about all of this.  Oh, I get it.  Mommy has to speak for him (and poorly, I might add).  Curious, isn't it, how you can't even keep your kids out of trouble long enough to complete the joke that is high school?  Not exactly genius material, huh?  "Outspoken, a leader, someone who can stand his ground..."  If you're referring to Cell Block E, I can definitely see the potential for a leadership position.  

Regan Benson
Regan Benson

Blah blah- and no actually if and or when they are permanent residents of any penal system- YOU will be fending for them, if your not yourself!! Your post is an excellent example of why my kids should IN FACT focus on their studies. You learn much about a tax and spend system in High School? Spare the readers and don't answer that.

Twisted
Twisted

Your post is an excellent example of why kids should focus on their studies instead of their parents' political agendas.  They'll have to learn to fend for themselves when they are permanent residents of the State's luxurious penal institutions.  

Regan Benson
Regan Benson

We've got us a bright one here, everybody pull your socks up to your knees-, it's gonna get deep- JustSayins' got the 411 on Bryce, his parents AND JEFFCO... ka ching ka ching Jeffco R1 award winner for bestest internet troll. Let it roll.....business as usual

Stan
Stan

*You're.  If YOUR kids spent their time going to class and studying, the world wouldn't be as dumb as it is at this particular moment.

Regan Benson
Regan Benson

Cute. :) Ok, Blake and Bryce friends, you know your welcome over anytime.

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