Senior Teacher Michael Ross Resigns Over District Handling of Title IX Accusations

On the morning of Wednesday, May 3rd, Dr. Ross, a science teacher who has been at CHS for 9 years, resigned his position at Centaurus.

CW: This article addresses issues surrounding Sexual Assault/violence. Please read at your own discretion.


On the morning of Wednesday, May 3rd, Dr. Ross, a science teacher who has been at CHS for 9 years, resigned his position at Centaurus. In an email sent to his students and their families, Dr. Ross wrote:  “Today, I write to you with a heavy heart to inform you that I am resigning my position as a teacher at Centaurus High School, effective immediately. Please understand that this is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, both because I love what I do and because I know it will adversely impact you.”


Dr. Ross resigned over his belief that the district continues to do wrong by students in regards to Title IX and sexual assault issues.  This semester, I have observed such profound and immoral wrongs visited upon our students and a complete failure of our leadership to even acknowledge, let alone deal with, the harm and continuing danger, that I cannot continue to associate myself with this school or district. Not only has our leadership chosen not to inform the school community of this danger, but has actively suppressed any information relating to it.” The BVSD website states that “Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Regardless of whether sexual harassment (that includes sexual violence) occurs at school, Title IX obligates school districts to address any impact of that conduct on students that interferes with their ability to access their education.” 


Ross went on to state that there have been an “extremely disturbing” number of recent sexual assault allegations, both at CHS and in the district over all. “There are eleven that I am aware of”, he stated, going on to hypothesize that there may be more cases that he does not know about. “I think any rational person would suspect a connection between the recent Title IX presentations (required by the Fairview lawsuit settlement) being made district wide and the recent explosion in allegations,” said Ross. 


Following the January settlement of a federal lawsuit filed against the district for inaction on sexual assault charges brought against a former Fairview High School student, the district was required to ensure that every district employee completed Title IX training and expand their annual presentations to students on Title IX issues. A student Title IX advisory council was also created. This is not the first time this school year that Title IX concerns have been raised at CHS: In December, the Title IX coordinator hosted an informational meeting for students, and in January, students walked out to protest BVSD’s management of the issues. All students and staff have also been required to undergo Title IX training this year, and will continue to be going forward. 


While the wording in Ross’ email was somewhat unclear (partially due to privacy laws and protections that the district must abide by in order to protect students), he mentions a specific case  where he believed a student was falsely accused of assault. According to an article published on Thrusday by the Daily Camera, Boulder Valley officials said Ross also sent a second email to staff in which he said the district “supported false reports of sexual harassment/violence” and “acted in a discriminatory manner toward one of our students accused of misconduct.” In accordance with the privacy laws, he did not cite any more details about that specific case or the students involved.


Principal Ryan sent out a response to students in Ross’ classes and their families the same evening, which was then sent to the entire student body on Thursday.  “I find it extremely troubling that a teacher would not only leave his students before the end of the term, but would also spread selective and uninformed information regarding confidential student matters,” said Ryan in the email. In the article published by the Daily Camera that same day, Ryan stated “We have made a very strong effort to make sure students know we are here to listen to them, to believe them and to support them.”


Ryan stated that the information Dr. Ross presented was “patently false,” and expressed concern over any potentially damaged trust as a result of Ross’ resignation. “To be clear, we encourage students to come forward and report incidents of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence. Students should never be dissuaded to reach out to a trusted adult at school to get necessary support.” 


Students in Ross’ classes expressed mixed feelings about his resignation. Cyrus Richter, a junior who had Dr. Ross for Physics, said  “Honestly I feel pretty discouraged [about CHS and Title IX] after his resignation.” He stated that his Physics class has been fairly unfocused in the days following the resignation. “The class seems like a joke without the proper teacher. Mr. Ross would often go around and conversate during the classes. I’m sure [many students] were still coping with his sudden leaving.”  Addison Pribble, also a junior in Ross’ physics class, said  “I couldn’t believe that he had resigned immediately, and I was also shocked at the reasoning. Despite this, Pribble stated that she was glad the teacher could “Really take a stand for what he believes is right or at least make a strong effort to shine a light on some injustices that he feels like he has seen.” 


Dr. Ross was well-respected amongst his students and coworkers, and many expressed sadness over his decision to leave. “Dr. Ross was a level-headed, passionate teacher. He loved his students, and in no world would he do this without a real reason…I want people to know that he was very reasonable, and that I wholeheartedly believe that what Dr. Ross claims is true,” said Richter. Pribble echoed his statements, describing Ross as “a lighthearted teacher who was always willing to help.”


Ross’ classes will be taught by a long-term sub for the remainder of the semester.  “I don’t know what will come for the rest of the year. I hope we will find resolution and clarity as a school on these possible issues,” said Pribble. 


The full text of both Dr. Ross’ email to his students and Principal Ryan’s response can be read here. 

An explanation of Title IX and the student’s rights under it can be found here. 


If you or someone you know needs support, a variety of resources, helplines, and organizations within the district and beyond can offer you help. These resources are listed below, as well as on the BVSD website, where you can find more in-depth explanations on the district’s policies, jurisdiction, and goals. 

National Sexual Assault Hotline

Colorado Crisis Services

Moving to end Sexual Assault

Title IX Notice of Rights 2.2022.pdf(English)

SPANISH Title IX Notice of Rights (2.2022).pdf

BVSD Reporting Form