DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Dozens of cars now don words of support for Douglas County teachers following Friday's vote by the school district's Board of Education to fire Superintendent Corey Wise.
"We're painting a message that says 'come together' because that's what we want to do," Sarah Wu, a parent of two DCSD students, said.
Wu was one of several people helping to coordinate the car-painting event at Bison Park in Castle Rock as car after car arrived. Another event happened earlier in the day at Highlands Ranch Town Center.
Both, she says, are about coming together for teachers, staff and students.
"We are pro-union. We are anti-union. We're Democrats, Republicans. We're just mad parents. We are an outraged community," Wu said.
The vote to fire Wise by the board's four newly-elected members further deepened a rift within the community. But parents in support of their decision say it shouldn't have come as a surprise.
Long-time educators like Tina Stroman just wish they could've given Wise more time.
"Even when people disagree, they can come together for a really special cause and to do good work for the betterment of our kids and our system," she said.
With her nearly three decades of experience at DCSD, she's seen a lot of changes — both good and bad. She's worried now how this change at the top will trickle down.
"I think it's gonna be hard. I think that the future is really uncertain and really cloudy," Stroman said.
But despite all this turmoil, the best she believes she can do is stay put and support the students.
"We have a job to do here and we want to stand up for what's right, and we're gonna do that together," she said.
On Sunday, over 50 sitting and past elected school board directors across Colorado signed a letter of support for Wise. The letter highlights their concerns about the way they felt the termination was handled.