Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

April 30, 2014

Unit 40 discipline, new policy disputed


Campbell said he doesn't have an issue with viewing a profile in the event of an emergency but believes the lack of stipulations in the board policy gives the district overreaching power.

“I'm saying this thing needs reworded. If there is a bomb threat on an individual, on a student or a major event, we are all for that. The way this is worded, Mr. (Jason) Fox (EHS Principal) or Mr. (Cody) Lewis (EHS vice principal) could go give out points for not dressing for PE or looking at a teacher the wrong way and get in trouble for disciplinary action and look at your phone.”

Doan said that is not the purpose of the policy change.

“Our administrators don’t want to go onto a student's phone,” he said. “They have enough to do. If there is an eminent issue, as superintendent, they are going to call me and ask if they can contact a parent to get a password.”

Former Effingham City Mayor and police chief John Lange, who was in attendance with other current and former Effingham City Council and County Board members, suggested the policy be reworded.

“That should be in there,” said Lange. “What you said, eminent threat, should be in there.”

Many on the board disagreed with adding stipulations to the policy change and said there are too many variables to recount them all.

“I strongly feel that the superintendent is qualified to decide if there is an eminent threat to our kids,” said Soltwedel, adding that if people are unhappy with that decision they can vote out the board.

Although the Campbells didn't agree with that line of reasoning, Doan reiterated the job of school administration, teachers and the board.

“Legally, we have an obligation as a school district to keep a safe environment for students,” said Doan. “We have rules that have to be followed at Unit 40, just like any school.”

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