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Chicago Heights Chicago Heights Star Newspaper Archives Dec 5 1999, Page 5

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Chicago Heights Star (Newspaper) - December 5, 1999, Chicago Heights, Illinois A-5 a a a-5 a a a a-5 a a a a a-5 the Star a sunday december 5, 1999disciplinecontinued from Page a-1 dents expelled two years for fighting. A you have big politicians willing to jump in and take local control of discipline away said Brian Knutson superintendent of Rich township High school District 227. He said such interference makes it extremely difficult for school Board members and District staff to Deal with students in an open and fair manner. The decision of whom to discipline a and for How Long a needs to be a local decision based on the needs of the Community Knutson said. It should not be dictated by political pressure. Veronda Cottle superintendent of Lansing school District 158, said District staff feel strongly that disciplinary matters must be controlled locally. A an outsider can to know All the circumstances that went into the boards decision a she said. A aboard members can to talk about cases and so it opens them up for people like Jesse Jackson to come in a As occurred in Decatur. Christine Glatz president of the Lincoln Way High school District 210 Board of education said maintaining local control of disciplinary procedures is important for schools throughout the area. A whether the Decatur Board made the right or wrong decision is not important a we re not them. What a important is that they kept control at that Board and they had a lot of pressure and stuck to the decision a she said. Doug Sisterson school Board president in Homer Community consolidated school District 33-c, said he applauds Decatur officials for standing their ground and maintaining local control even when facing National Media attention and Public scrutiny. It May not be surprising in the Wake of Decatur that All of these school officials favor such local control. Jackson did not return repeated phone Calls from the Star seeking comment about Zero tolerance and local control. Marcia Heuser vice president of the Blue Island Crestwood school District 130 Board of education said she thinks the Decatur situation was a positive event because people need to be aware of what is transpiring in local schools. The District serves students from Blue Island and Crestwood among other communities. A this intentions were Good but it escalated too fast a she said. Intervention by Ryan and Jackson in Decatur translates to Good news locally if the situation stimulates More people to run for school Board spots she said. A but i Hope people done to 9ome As one Issue Type of candidates a Heuser added. She took Issue with the Decatur boards decision to Dole out the exact same punishment for each of the seven students implicated in the fight instead of looking at every child individually. A i was shocked they All got the same punishment. I done to think we be Ever expelled a student for two years. The other thing they blew was taking away the confidentiality of the students. We never refer to a child by name a attention Mart shoppers in the Kmart december 5,1999 weekly and circular on Page 33 features the Nintendo 64 gone a monopoly Quot. This item will not be available due to the manufacturer s delay in shipping we regret any inconvenience this error May have caused our customers k James k sons Ltd. Buys and Sells Fine watches antique jewelry and coins. Our professional appraiser will pay top Dollar for your antique jewelry Loose or mounted diamonds coins paper Money and watches a especially pack Philippe roles Cartier croon and Piaget them Ami jewelry 11 coins Uto Cash James it St sons Ltd. Orland Park 15234 South Lagrange Road Orland Park la 60462 tub 226.0800 Oak Lawn 6619 who 95th Street Oak Lawn in 60453 708.5990004 Olympia Fields 3426 Vollmer Road Olympia Fields la 60461 708.481.1500 Calumet City 239 cold coast Lane Calumet City in 60409 708.862.3800 hours Mon Fri to a m.-6rm. Wad evening til b pm Sal 10 a m. A 5 pm Art Vassy Spe Clai to the Star a you can impose discipline and still maintain the respect of students and parents a says or. James Paziotopoulo superintendent of District 123. Here he visits with students Tim West left Matt Styrcula and Mike Paris at Covington school in Oak Lawn. She said. School districts across the South suburbs Are grappling with discipline policies designed to make their schools safer while at the ame time trying to avoid violating a child a civil rights. Even before Decatur school officials had a difficult time moving Forward with any expulsion because of the effect it May have on the child District 227�?Ts Knutson said. A but you have others to according to James Paziotopoulo superintendent of Oak Lawn Hometown elementary school District 123, pupils must be allowed their rights freedoms and Access to the schools but not by sacrificing safety of the school population. A you can impose discipline and still maintain the respect of students and parents. You still have to be humane and have a real love for the people you Are serving a he said. A but there Are times you have to take an unpopular position not play favourites and do what a Best for All to Paziotopoulo in District 123 it does not matter whether the student is the mayors child or child of a the Community neither will receive special treatment. In the Decatur incident the fact that six of the seven expelled students were bumped from the Bottom to the top of a waiting list for alternative schooling after Jackson and Ryan interceded was most distressing to Paziotopoulo. A now six More students have to wait longer. You wonder Why those parents Arentt suing a he said. A a it a a blatant disrespect of permitting them the right to get an education a for the Sake of Kamala Buckner superintendent for Thornton township High school District 205 a along with Many other local school officials a said it is hard to have a Blanket Zero tolerance policy for everyone because each Case must be treated individually. Punishments should be tailored to the child incident weapon used the intent and other extenuating circumstances Buckner said. The districts goal in navigating through the disciplinary procedure is to be consistent follow due process and make sure the student and parents Are notified and Given their Chance to speak she said. A do we make mistakes we probably have but we make the decision on the Best information we have at the time a she said. In most districts administrators in each school Dole out punishments for minor transgressions. More serious offences a those which require stiffer punishment such As some suspensions lasting to Days and expulsions a Are sent to the school boards for review. School Board members vote and children can Only be expelled with a majority vote of the Board. Buckner said if a Parent objects to a suspension that Case would also be reviewed by the Board to determine whether the disciplinary action should be upheld or reduced. A we get a significant number of those reviewed. Its a step they can fall Back on part of due process a she said. Sometimes students or their parents believe the child a constitutionally guaranteed rights have been violated As was the Case about to years ago at Carl Sandburg High school. A then-16-year-old Junior was suspected of carrying drugs and subjected to a strip search after a teacher noticed a bulge in the boys pants. A male Dean and teacher took the student into a locker room and had him remove his clothing and the two searched the garments. The student was Given a gym suit to Wear while the clothes were searched. No drugs were found in the search and several Days after the incident the family filed suit against the school. The student charged his fourth amendment Protection against unreasonable searches was violated. A Federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of the search stating it was the least intrusive Way to determine whether drugs were concealed. The court also stated it was not Overly intrusive because the student was not touched nor was a body cavity search conducted. Tinley Park attorney Richard Hutchison who represented the student said this action by school officials trying to crack Down on drugs did violate the students rights even though the court disagreed. According to Hutchison the Sandburg student was emotionally harmed As a result of the districts strict policy. A the was just Well endowed. Playboy and Jay Leno covered it. He was hearing across the country How Well endowed he was a he said. A a Tough attitude can apply but with Zero tolerance you have to apply the same policy to Tough offenders and the innocent kid. We done to run our courts with Zero in court offenders Are Given second chances Hutchison said. School boards should Deal with offences on a Case by Case basis just As a judge does so rights Are not violated he added. Steve Humphrey superintendent of Crete Monee High school District 201-u, said his District has Zero tolerance for gang behaviour drugs and weapons but that Zero tolerance simply Means those activities will not be tolerated. A but Well look at each Case. Cases Are different situations Are different a he said. A consequences May vary depending on the a a still any school districts that use Zero tolerance policies with Blanket no discretionary penalties Are violating children a rights Hutchison said. According to Chris Ward superintendent of Lockport township High school District 205, Board members Are always concerned with consistent treatment for violations even though each situation is considered individually. In Many school districts several offences can result in expulsion although the duration depends on the incidents seriousness students intent prior history and violations. Throughout the area possessing drugs weapons and their look alikes on school grounds Call for expulsion As do various types of gang behaviour threats to physically harm someone and assaulting a staff member. State and Federal Laws prohibit students from bringing weapons of any kind to school and allow for a maximum expulsion of up to two years. Stuart Swenson director of program assessment and student services in consolidated High school District 230, said a penalty of two years is allowed under the Law but the very same Law then states the decision should be made by school boards and alternative education opportunities can be offered. Julian rogue superintendent of Summit Hill school District 161, said school officials Are concerned with the intent to harm someone a even if no harm occurred. A if they Are Only words with no intent the reaction will be severe but not As severe a he said. Swenson said no punishment is Given to a student automatically. The process begins with administrative staff talking about the incident with Deans to determine How harsh the situation a and punishment a should be. The superintendent becomes involved if the situation May Lead to an expulsion. The Case goes to a hearing then a report from a hearing officer is submitted to the school Board. Board members meet privately to discuss what course of action should be taken and vote on their decision in open session. A we done to tolerate certain types of behaviour. There is no such thing As Zero tolerance where people Are automatically expelled a Swenson said. Besides expulsions and in and out of school suspensions Many districts May also place students in alternative schools counselling sessions Home schooling require them to attend saturday detention sessions work around the school after classes or Complete a set amount of Community service hours. Many school officials said students must know their behaviour is incorrect but the underlying causes must also be addressed. Simply kicking students out of school is not the answer they say. Paziotopoulo said if Public officials were really interested in improving society and helping students succeed they would not become involved in a situation simply to pick up a few votes while helping a student along the Way. Knives squirt guns make for Quick exit from school i t starts when a child a possibly the boy or girl next door a brings a weapon drugs or alcohol to school. Or maybe the child writes a note identifying someone he or she would like to harm. Local schools have experienced similar incidents in the past often resulting in Swift disciplinary action. A an eighth Grade Martino Junior High student was expelled from new Lenox school District 122 in october for bringing a realistic toy gun to school and allegedly threatening a couple of fellow pupils at a bus Stop. He was expelled for the rest of the school year. A a Rich township High school District 227 student was disciplined for possessing a pocket knife in school. The student was in an Industrial arts class and did woodworking. Superintendent Brian Knutson said he was not expelled because there was no intent to harm anyone. According to Many local school officials a child a punishment is often based partly on the intent of bringing the weapon and whether anyone was actually threatened. A in 1997, a 8-year-old second grader in Sauk Village school District 168 was suspended for five Days for bringing a Dinosaur shaped squirt gun to class. District 168 superintendent Thomas Ryan initially sought to expel the child but settled on the lesser penalty based on the child a principals recommendation. The District prohibits anything that looks like a weapon or has the word a a gun in its description. District 168 has historically possessed one of the toughest discipline policies in the area. A about three years ago a child in Lansing school District 158 brought a Bullet to school in his jacket pocket and was suspended superintendent Veronda Cottle said he had been on a practice Range with his Grandfather the previous Day and had simply stuck the Bullet in his pocket. At school he was caught showing a Friend the Bullet. A we Felt we had to Send a message that it was inappropriate a she said. A Joseph Dubec assistant superintendent in Matteson school District 159, was generally tight lipped when asked about two purported incidents in november involving threats against students and teachers. Dubec said he comment. He said however that in these situations an evaluation of the child is completed to determine whether there is any risk of danger. A we done to want to overreact or under react a he said. A we done to want to punish them without determining if we can help them. Sometimes they need to receive intervention. This procedure has worked for according to Stuart Swenson director of program assessment and student services with consolidated High school District 230, Over the last to or la years the number of expulsions have dropped but without any real patterns. One constant has emerged however. Swenson said most of the students expelled from District 230 tend to be Sophomore boys with Grade Point averages Between 1.2 and 1.9. A we go to those most at risk and Wear Down at that a he said. At 16v6, the brain s frontal lobe starts to function and students begin thinking about where their lives Are going and that their actions maybe weren to too smart he said. A Elf we expel someone at 16vi or 17 we re in trouble. They re not the 15-year-old who a not thinking a he said. A Kristen Zambo Board members say they must reflect Community they Are housewives pastors accountants lawyers retirees crossing guards and firefighters they also serve on local school boards where they help shape the nations future adults. School Board members Are elected by a Community of their Peers a people who at least in theory share the same wants and needs for their children. A fall policies reflect from the Community otherwise you a be voted out of office a said Marcia Heuser vice president of Cook county school District 130�?Ts school Board. The District serves students from Blue Island and Crestwood among other communities. Julian rogue superintendent of Summit Hill school District 161 in the new Lenox area said school boards tend to make decisions based on their own communities situations and populations. Evelyn Gleason school Board president for Bremen Community High school District 228, said Board members Are a Cross Section of society whose careers help shape discussions and policies. One District 228 Board member is a lawyer and Gleason said a the says in court this Zero tolerance happen and he a one Board member is a supervisor with the Illinois Secretary of states office and Gleason said she deals with duis All the time a so she a really hard policies approved by school boards result not Only from each members profession rogue said their status As parents also must be factored in. Joseph Dubec assistant superintendent of elementary school District 159 in Matteson said Board members Are not generally professional educators so they each bring to the Rule making process the Side of parents and Community members. A Kristen Zambo great cd specials 5.75 6 month % apy add Vantage cd 5.90% 6.10% a 13 month 26 month make $500 minimum additions at any time without extending the term. Monthly statement available with cos checking account. Act now and receive a Beautiful Poinsettia with this cd offer citizens financial Sirvitis ass Call 1-888-Bank-cfs or visit the office nearest you. Odic $5, xxx minimum. Apy annual percentage yield. Apy effective december 7 december 13, 1999. Interest compounded and credited quarterly. Penalty imposed for Early withdrawal. Personal accounts Only. Limit one Poinsettia per household for new accounts Only. Not valid with any other offer. Yik ready Mai

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