Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

April 30, 2014

Unit 40 discipline, new policy disputed

A couple claiming Unit 40's discipline policy is too strict also questioned a proposed handbook change that would allow school officials to view a student's social media profile.

Dave Campbell believes the number of suspensions at the high school is high.

“The concerning numbers are the amount of suspensions and that is what brought me here in the first place,” said Campbell. “I've talked to several parents, and they all feel the same way. The rules are a little aggressive, not a little aggressive, a lot aggressive in the manner they treat the kids in the high school.”

Campbell filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records pertaining to the number of student suspensions. Although the records provided by the district showed a fluctuation in the number of suspensions, it did show an overall decrease in the past decade.

Peggy Campbell said she doesn't approve of the style of discipline her son and others have received at the school.

“I have trouble with the way they are handling kids,” said Peggy Campbell. “They are raising a school full of robots with the amount of rules and how quickly they suspend kids.”

Peggy Campbell openly referred to her son, who was suspended recently.Campbell said her son was suspended after he allegedly stared in an intimidating fashion at a teacher when told to leave the lunch room. Another transgression, she said, included a teacher observing him taking an indirect route from his school to his job, to which she questioned why the school felt the need to monitor her 17-year-old son's actions after he was checked out of school by a parent.

Because of student privacy, Effingham High School Principal Jason Fox said he doesn't comment on specific situations related to student discipline.

“We have rules at the high school that have to be followed,” said Superintendent Mark Doan after Monday's meeting. “Beyond that, I'm not going to comment.”

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