SD 201U parents want answers on violence at Crete-Monee
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY firstname.lastname@example.org February 14, 2014 6:20PM
Updated: March 17, 2014 11:42AM
After an outbreak of violence at Crete-Monee High School this month, parent Jen Tallant is urging parents to attend Tuesday’s school board meeting at the school.
District 201U officials have downplayed the violence that occurred Feb. 3 at the school and have not communicated well with parents, Tallant said.
“There are a lot of incidents, but (school officials) cover it up,” she said.
Three students were arrested after fighting broke out among students — a melee that was captured on video by a student’s cellphone — leading school officials to prohibit the use of cellphones by students at the school, which Tallant called a “knee-jerk reaction.”
Crete police said a teacher and a student were injured trying to break up different fights. Student Damaria Sutton, 18, of Park Forest, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds, a felony, for having a folding knife in her possession, police said.
Tallant said her son was suspended for one day for glancing at a text message she sent him, and a friend of his was suspended for three days for insubordination when he questioned a school official about the cellphone ban.
The discipline needs to fit the offense, said Tallant, a former officer of the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization.
She said many parents are upset that District 201U Supt. John Rodgers was placed on paid leave in the fall without an explanation.
“He was a good guy. He dedicated his life to the school district,” she said.
“The board needs to hear feedback from parents,” Tallant said. “We have no voice. We do not understand what is happening to our district.”
Tuesday’s meeting will begin with public comment at 6:30 p.m. at the high school, 1515 W. Exchange St., Crete.