UPDATE: This morning we received a request from Yvonne Mayer to remove the text of her public comment from this blog and simply refer readers to the podcast of last night's meeting. We have complied with her request. Anyone who wants to hear her public comment can do so by going to the D181 website Board Meeting podcast archive. In addition, Ms. Mayer asked us to post the following comment:
"Last night I made a public comment which has upset one of the board members I referenced. For that I apologize. My intention in making my public comment was to ask the full board to acknowledge their open governance violations and participate in additional training to further their understanding of the Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act and board policies. To support my requests, I criticized the board for their actions during the October 17, 2013 executive session that was ruled to have been a violation of the Open Meetings Act. After receiving the ruling from the Attorney General's office, I contacted the full board and requested a copy of the audiotape and for them to post it on the D181 website along with all other podcasts of open meetings. It took a full week for the board to post the podcast, only after which I received a short email from an administrative assistant informing me of the posting. I had hoped they would -- as a full board -- be willing to engage in a constructive public discussion about the ruling and decide as a group if they wanted further training. Unfortunately, they chose not to schedule a discussion of this important ruling on the 6/23/14 meeting agenda. In my opinion it is important for a public body found in violation of open governance laws to discuss the issues. It is very frustrating that the BOE did not want to do so, or that their Board President (who sets the agenda with the administration) may have made that decision alone. As always, I believe its in the best interests of the community for the board to willingly comply with all open governance laws and to conduct their meetings and make all of their decisions within the guidelines of the existing laws and board policies."
This afternoon we received the following comment from community member and former D181 BOE member Yvonne Mayer. She asked that we not publish it until after the public comment portion of tonight's BOE meeting, and then either publish it as a comment or as a free standing post. Because we believe the points she raises are valid and on point, we are publishing this as a free standing post. We thank Yvonne Mayer, and all other parents who show the courage to continue to publicly advocate on behalf of the public -- D181 parents. all taxpayers, students and teachers. The district is a better place because of your efforts.
Yvonne Mayer's Public Comment removed at her request.
At spring break the blog said it would take a break when white started and give him a chance. It is time for the blog to do just that.
Maybe the bloggers think the most recent district issues are important enough to be posted. As a parent who has suffered through 2 years of disappointment in 3rd and 4th grades, I haven't yet seen any leadership from the administration on how the mess they have created will be cleaned up. Until I hear a plan from Dr. White on how the problems will be fixed, I will be skeptical of the district moving forward with this Learning for All nonsense.
Luckily, this blog can help inform Dr. White. No one is attacking Dr. White, so I am not sure what the poster at 8:19 is talking about. We are giving him a chance to finally, see the mess that our previous administrators and current BOE president has gotten us into. If you really want to give him a chance, let the truth come out and be honest with the issues facing this district.
In regard to BOE governance, I am shocked at the flippant attitude and blatant disrespect of the law by our BOE. It is shocking. If they can't follow the rules of BOE governance, why are they there? We don't want them to make up their own rules and theories on what is acceptable BOE behavior. We simply want them to follow the rules and look out for our kids, our teachers, and our community.
Why are they holding back the truth and not releasing information that the Attorney General has decided is appropriate to give out? Do they really think they know better than the AG? Give me a break. Some of these board members are being very arrogant. If they didn't like the duties assigned to them as board members of a public school, they shouldn't have run for the job.
I strongly feel that we need to give the new administrators a shot without the distraction of a blog. And on another note, I listened from home today to the podcast. This was not a good start for White's first BOE meeting. Having a community member attack Jill V. on a personal and professional level was out of line, was not productive, and was not the right tone to set for White's tenure. And neither was posting the resumes of the applicants of the learning committee. As Hennighan pointed out, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it.
Dr. White wisely choose to adhere to the general principles that the BOE posts during public comment, "if we don't address an issue raised that does not mean we aren't taking it seriously"...
He was furiously taking notes during the whole meeting and I very much got the sense at several points that he was formulating a more complete view of what are the biggest priorities for him and the rest of district level staff to tackle over the summer and during the start of school.
It was interesting that even in regard to the concerns about space at Elm, which seem to be somewhat pressing, Dr. White and staff had clearly done some preliminary work about possible ways to address the issue but until there is more input from the folks most likely to have to deal with changes, including parents of Elm students, no hasty decisions will be pushed.
I frankly am rather reassured by this; I vividly recall the negative consequences when speed overrode prudence...
Jill V has done nothing unethical. She was never abused her power. She has donated her time while juggling work and family. She did not deserve to be attacked on a personal or professional level. What's the end goal? To get her to quit? That would be a loss for us and she may just do that after tonight.
I also listened to the podcast of tonight's meeting and do not believe there was an attack on Jill V; rather, the conduct of the entire BOE was mentioned. Like it or not, the Attorney General ruled that this board was in violation. There is no question about it.
And by the way, I find it offensive as a long-term Hinsdale resident that parents have to submit resumes if they wish to serve on a Superintendent's committee. These parents didn't apply for a paid job, these are volunteer positions in a public school district. The board and parents should be questioning why this requirement was allowed in the first place rather than complain now about resumes being posted.
Has the poster at 11:08 heard the podcast of the meeting? The board member you reference clearly has some opinions on several topics that she probably thought would not be made public. All board members are public officials, and most of them, from what I can tell, have families and work responsibilities. We expect elected officials to uphold policies and rules in even the most challenging of circumstances, and we should get nothing less as taxpayers.
I wasn't at the meeting, but I'm glad Dr. White was taking notes. That's more than Schuster ever did at these meetings.
181 taxpayers: our BOE spent more than $2400 in legal fees regarding the violation of Open Meeting Act that was discussed at the board meeting tonight. Way to be fiscally responsible! Bring on the new learning commons(whatever that is) furniture and a new middle school! We can trust these people with our tax money, right?
Give me a break.
I lost all respect for Vorobiev while listening to the podcast and hearing her laugh about a Madison teacher striking a child and then rationalizing the teacher's behavior by stating (i) the teacher didn't beat the child, she just slapped him/her and (ii) the child had "behavior issues."
11:35 p.m.: We have deleted your comment and reposted it with one redaction. You posted the wrong name of the person who writes the board meeting summaries, so we have deleted their name.
If you are personally distracted by the blog, by all means, stop reading it. But for the rest of us who rely upon it to find out about our children's schools and how our tax dollars are being spent, we appreciate the facts.
Perhaps you should take your own advice: just because you can read a blog, it doesn't mean that you should read it. If the actions of elected officials and public employees don't interest you, and constituent's opinions about them bother you, you probably shouldn't read the blog. Just as the newspaper or history doesn't interest everyone, the blog will not be everyone's favorite reading material. But for those of us who like factual recaps of board meetings instead of _________'s highly edited, skewed, and less than factual versions, we are glad the blog is here. If your favorite genre for news is fantasy and fiction, by all means, continue to read The Enquirer, The Hinsdalean, and the D181 newsletters.
I just finished listening to the entire podcasts of tonight's meeting and the 10/17 meeting, and listened with interest to the opening and closing public comments made tonight. I was not put off by Yvonne Mayer's comment. As a community member who has actually been bullied in open session in the past by sitting board members, both while she was on the board and after her term ended, the bullying continued tonight when the board president tried to dictate what topics she could and couldn't address. Nothing Ms. Mayer said was wrong. She relayed pretty accurately what happened in an executive session that has now been made open. She used it as an example to show how the board members -- ALL of them (as she said during her comment) -- don't understand the compliance requirements of the OMA, FOIA or board policies, despite online training they've already had and think it is ok to rely on their board members who are lawyers rather than on the lawyers our tax dollars pay for. She didn't personally attack one board member. She said that all the board members were wrong in not realizing all the violations as they played out. Freedom of speech allowed her to make her comment during this public meeting and suggest steps the board could take to avoid making these mistakes in the future. Instead of allowing the board to speak to some of the issues that Ms. Mayer raised, Mr. Turek issued pronouncements on behalf of the entire board (again in violation of board policy) and shut any possible discussion down. Who knows if any of the board members want more OMA or FOIA or board policy training? None spoke after Mr. Turek rudely responded to Ms. Mayer. During closing comment, he made a big show of trying to turn Ms. Mayer's comments into a personal attack. I personally know Ms. Mayer and don't for a minute believe this is what she did tonight. She simply tried to bring to the public light a discussion that should never have been conducted in private. Ms. Mayer has been maligned enough by some of the current board, physically assaulted by another and the board's response was to try and avoid application of board policies, hide the truth and in the process they violated open governance laws. Having been found in violation, rather than accept public responsibility and engage in a constructive discussion on next steps to avoid a future mistake, they didn't even put it on the meeting agenda. Mr. Turek said they did all they had to do by posting the audiotape and they have all completed their online training. Well obviously that wasn't enough. Why don't they see that?
Yes, D181 board members are community members and parents. Yes, they are unpaid volunteers. But they are elected public officials by their own choice and need to comply with OMA and FOIA laws. Nothing lets them off the hook for that. Part of being a public official is that you are held to a different level of public scrutiny. No one in this community should be naive enough to think otherwise, especially as to at least one sitting board member who has also publicly discussed his future aspirations to continue in higher political office. No one wants any of the board member lawyers to quit if he/she felt personally attacked tonight. But the sad reality is that board members on past boards have been attacked during public comment AND during meetings, even by their fellow board members. That is part of being a public official. Sometimes people will get mad at what the public official has done and make a public comment about it. It is allowed. Everyone should want each board member who violated the Open meetings act or misinterpreted how FOIA should be applied to at least acknowledge that they made mistakes and discuss how to avoid them in the future. Its unfortunate that this board is so resistant to doing so, or at least the board president seems to be and preemtively shut down any possible discussion.
I hope Dr. White looks beyond all the drama shown during tonight's meeting and asks the board to participate in more OMA/FOIA training because it is sorely needed.
This blog seems to have become a sounding board for Yvonne Mayer to attack the school board and the administration. Why does the water bottle incident keep coming up? Who really cares except Yvonne? It's time to grow up and move forward. The Parents are more and more looking like a cover for Ms. Mayer.
I am very glad that Mrs. Mayer asked the blog to pull text of her public statement off of the blog. I think it was the right thing to do.
I also think that all of the responses to Mrs. Quinones FOIA should also be removed and respectfully request that it be done as well.
Please take the picture down. It was childish and not productive. I was a former blog supporter but no longer. We still have administrative positions to fill.
I could not agree more with 8:24am. Stop with the nonesense
The district level staff, including those that only have a few days left with their employment agreements here, seem to be working diligently on tasks that are important to Dr. White and the district. It is not fair to suggest otherwise.
The unfortunate fact is that there was no newspaper coverage at last night's meeting and too often the "reporting" from such meetings is merely reconstructed from the the "press releases" issues by the district.
In some communities there is a tradition of having community members attend and summarize meetings of the local governmental bodies as well as publish newsletters that are distributed to all residents. Without something like that, or a BOE that has a higher committment to making all meetings more open, blogs like this serve a needed gap in filling in the details about the important matters facing our schools.
When elected members of the BOE raise questions about hundreds of thousands of spending on things like software it pretty clearly demonstrates that the budget information is still not detailed enough. I do believe that the district staff spoke honestly when they voiced their appreciation of questions that help them clarify the information they prepare to show the financial postion of the district.
Even when it comes to information that is in reports about facilities that apparently has been discussed in the strange "invitation only" committees, the details that come to light in public meetings are such that they should be more widely known. Last night, specifically, BOE members and the district business manager made clear that the roofing consultant has made multiple physical inspections of the HMS roof and expressed confidence that it should provide adequate protection for at least five years. That is a something that was not widely understood by previous reporting that strongly suggested the condition to be far more desperate. To put this in a context that most homeowners could relate to -- if you were buying a property and the inspection came back with the recommendation that said the roof was in need of immediate replacement would proceed with the purchase? How about if the report instead said the roof still had approximately 1/4 of its life remaining? Big difference, no? This information rather clearly suggests that those looking to gear up for a referendum are quite premature in their efforts...
If all the BOE members showed a committment to fully embrace the most open governance instead of falsely assuming that "closed" meetings give them some kind of "cover", perhaps a more elevated level of discussion would be the norm.
It is time to prioritize issues that impact our students. We have major curriculum and morale issues to deal with! Please stop distracting Dr. White and the new administrators with issues that don't directly impact students and, at the end of the day, aren't that significant. If this blog doesn't stop abusing volunteers, there will be none left to help turn things around. Why would anyone subject themselves to this kind of unnecessary criticism and invasion of privacy? There is a point where transparency becomes unnecessary and harmful and we have reached it.
8:24 and 9:03 -- Are you kidding? So a respected community member gets assaulted and the abuser gets rewarded with an appointment to a committee? The board then turns a blind eye, refuses to enforce a policy that the superintendent has threatened PARENTS with (a superintendent -- Schuster, not White who then screens out of a committee applicant pool parents who have been labeled bullies with no evidence or due process), then violates the OMA in their quest to not set "precedent", gets called out for it and then refuses to even have a discussion on how to make sure that in the future they don't violate the law again? Yet somehow, Mrs. Mayer is wrong? Are you kidding me?
This blog IS a sounding board. Some people use their names, others do not. Kudos to Ms. Mayer for standing up for what she thought (and what the attorney general agreed) was right and not letting the board hide behind closed doors. She used her name. Stop bashing her and focus on the real problem.
Not too long ago, Ms. Mayer was also an unpaid, volunteer, elected D181 BOE member. I saw her get railed on by some of the current and past board members whenever she voiced opposition to a majority opinion. She was "--it" on by them, as well as by a certain past superintendent. No one ever apologized to her to her, even after she was PHYSICALLY assaulted. Only one board member spoke the truth about that incident while everyone else conveniently forgot the facts they witnessed. Whose the real bully? Not Mrs. Mayer who has apologized for hurting a board member's feelings (even though I don't personally think an apology to an elected government official was necessary). Thank you Mrs. Mayer for your integrity.
Clarification to my 10:17 comment. It is my understanding that in no way was Dr, White involved in the "screening out" of the committee applicants. His hands are "clean" and I agree he should be allowed to get to work fixing the many messes (curriculum, facilities, rule violations) the board has created along with the past administration.
Dear 10:11 poster:
I guess I'm a little confused by your comments because the purpose of this blog has always been for PARENTS (and anyone else interested) "to identify and discuss issues of importance that will have a direct impact on the education of your children." It is NOT a blog aimed for D181 leadership to be taking direction from. In my opinion, the goal is to make parents more aware and then they can choose to act or not based on what they have learned. "Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress." Kofi Annan. It is personal choice whether and how to act on that knowledge.
I highly doubt anything in the blog is "distracting" to Dr. White and/or D181 administrators. It's a blog - defined as "a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions." I'd be deeply disappointed in the professionalism of our administration if they were distracted by a blog, but if they are reading it I would hope it would give them some insight, particularly regarding conducting business in secret.
I guess I have to disagree that the blog is abusing volunteers. Many of the people posting concerns (including myself) ARE and have been for a long time, volunteers. True, our BOE members are also volunteers, but it has been a while since the BOE elections have been non-contested - no one forced them to volunteer. Like it or not, public office is public. It would be OUTRAGEOUS if/when a BOE member's PERSONAL life was discussed and/or criticized in this blog, but it is totally acceptable to scrutinize and even criticize how they perform the role to which they volunteered to be elected. That's part of democracy and on what this country was founded. Same as to Administrators - personal life off limits but job responsibilities we are paying them for - I'm ok with that.
Perhaps readers will notice that certain BOE members are/were never criticized - not on this blog or elsewhere. It seems to me they are/have been the ones who do their best to put the time in to do the job they volunteered to be elected to, are open, respectful, and transparent in their discussions and dealings with the public, and understand what their role is and is not - or ask for clarification when they are unsure. They are also the ones who did not seek election to try to change something specific either related to their own students or politically motivated (hidden agenda) or are thinking about higher office - they just want(ed) to do a good job for the community. Not that the other who have been more criticized have not wanted to do a good job for the community - it's just that there was something else driving them as well that taints(ed) some of their actions.
I don't want to sound all red, white, and blue as we approach July 4, but it makes me nervous when someone says, "There is a point where transparency becomes unnecessary and harmful and we have reached it." Short of National Security (or in school district matters those items that are legally required to be kept confidential like individual student and teacher issues), transparency of the actions of our governmental bodies/elected officials is NEVER unnecessary. It is required. If the result is harmful, it is the governmental body or elected official who caused the harm, not the citizen who who exposed the facts.
Certainly anyone that wishes to serve in any way is free to decide the degree to which they are comfortable wth the groundrules set forth. The various PTA/PTO groups at each school are generally more than happy to accept whatever volunteers come forward and I know that the various officers often struggle to find useful assignments for the multitudes of broadly skilled parents it can be a challenge to ensure no one feels the work asked of them is other than reflective of their talents.
The decision to ask for resumes for those that wished to serve on the superintendent's committee was made by that now departed adminstrator. GIven that the candidates selected largely were not those with the most obviously relevant experience perhaps "names from a hat" would have been more fair. Of course should Dr. White truly wish to embrace the spirit of the Illinois Open Meetings Act perhaps he should inform those selected that these meeting will not in fact be covert and if anyone objects to that they are free to withdraw...
Anytime parents / community members are part of something other than an open meeting it creates a climate where rumor and innuendo can grow. Open meetings are the appropriate setting to help involve more people in moving the district forward.
I couldn't agree more with the previous two comments. i am grateful that this blog exists becuase the board has not been transparent for years, and the local newspapers do not do their diligence in reporting the true facts. We have editors of the local rag writing storeis that are very biased and based on personal friendshipts and associations with lunch buddies. Where are real facts supposed to provided to our community? The bloggers are also volunteers who are trying to open the eyes of parents. We need to keep a watchful eye on this dysfunctional board and whoever is left in the administration. No one else is going to do it for us.
I just listened to the closed session meeting. Although there are lessons to learn about the open meetings act, the allegations against Jill have been exagerated and taken out of context (especially in relation to a past case - by 2 yrs- about a kid being slapped at Madison that she brought up to draw parallels about how to proceed with the water throwing).
I agree with the last poster. There was no smoking gun in that closed session podcast.
Are you people serious? There was no smoking gun in the executive session podcast? Let's get real here. The Attorney General obviously thought there was because he ruled the board was in violation. No amount of justifications or quarterbacking now will reverse the ruling. The discussions that were held should not have been. End of story.
12:12 & 1:39 - Y'all are missing the point - there doesn't need to be a smoking gun to violate the Open Meetings Act. The fact that you could listen to the podcast at all to confirm there was no smoking gun is only because Mrs. Mayer challenged that things were being discussed in closed session that were LEGALLY not permitted to be discussed there. The "Wrong" was the BOE going into Closed Session for presumably valid reasons and then thinking while they are there they can discuss anything they want (either innocently or because they think no one will ever find out). This is what Open Meetings Act training teaches. The fact that something or somethings were discussed that were not valid Closed Session topics and NOT 1 BOE Member objected suggests more training is needed.
The concern about a BOE member who is an attorney giving advice that other members are relying on is problematic and a real conflict. I'm sure the BOE member wasn't thinking about that at the time, but he/she should have been. Conflict - real and apparent is a big deal in the world of legal ethics. If the advice somehow led to litigation because it was incorrect it could inflict unwanted liability on the District.
Technically Illinois' Attorney General is not a "he". In Lisa Madigan's office, the Public Access Counselor currently charged with investigating OMA violation is also not a "he" -- Illinois Attorney General Public Access Counselor
Although some of the rhetoric on the site listed below crosses the line from "watch dog" to advocating for certain educational practices, some of which of which I may not agree with, their guide nicely summarizes the narrow categories that the OMA does provide as exceptions that may legally be discussed in closed session -- Open Meetings | Illinois Loop
All our elected officials really need to keep these things in mind whenever they are in any meeting and they should all FULLY UNDERSTAND the overarching principle -- "While the Act allows public bodies to convene in
closed session, public bodies are not required to go into closed session." There should NEVER be the sense that a closed session provides any kind of "cloak", the law requires a verbatim transcript / recording be retained. Anyone that believes a closed session affords carte blanche to to have discussion outside of public scrutiny certainly could not have arrived at such a belief from the required training materials the AG provides for all elected officials as well any interested person -- On-line Training | Illinois Attorney General
The BOE admitted they made a mistake. By smoking gun I meant there was nothing to warrant Ms. Meyer's vicious attack on Jill V. Or the slanderous mischaracterizatoons by others of a remark Jill made is closed session.
4:16: when and where did the board make such an admission? Certainly not to the press, in fact Turek refused to give a comment after the ruling. Not during last nights meeting Mayer's comment, which was made because no discussion was posted on the agenda. And to characterize Mayer's public comment as a vicious attack is laughable in light of the actual physical attack she was subjected to that initiated this entire spiral down by the Board of Education.
Geez! Just because someone's blog doesn't agree with the majority of the bloggers, a few of you don't have to get on your soap box about it. Much info can be gained from this blog but that doesn't mean that everyone agrees with the personal opinions of some. Its interesting to read the different opinions. Sometimes things are said that I never even considered.
I am writing in support of my wife, Yvonne Mayer. I read some of the comments attacking her and those people should be ashamed of themselves.
She was physically attacked at an executive meeting. Marty Turek did not comfort her, express his condolences or otherwise support her. GlennYeager did not offer condolences or offer apologies. Dr. Schuster did not offer an apology. Instead, the board supported appointing her attacker to a committee. This was the culmination of years of other board members mistreating her and doing everything they could to bully and intimidate her if they did not follow their lead. Not once, not a single time, did they ever express any concern regarding her welfare, her feelings, or anything else. Not once did anyone even treat her, frankly, as a colleague or fellow human being with excellent ideas. She was a Professor of Law at University of Michigan, assisting abused children. She negotiated, as lead negotiator, our current d 181 contract. She was active with the Pillars a local charity, again, raising funds and helping children. She has volunteered for eight years as costume chair for musicals at HMS. We have both served as volunteers for not only d 181, but also d 86. She never complained, or ran out of the room boo hooing, or needed a man to tell her there there its ok in the face of the bullying, And so, after fighting for children, for teachers, for taxpayers, and the community, and being physically attacked, and trying to find out what happened, and learning that the attacker was appointed to a board, the board violated the open meetings act and spent tax payer money on attorneys to keep that information secret, she asks the board to acknowledge their error, their waste of tax payer money, their secrecy, Marty Turek claims that act of asking the board to obey the law is bullying. Even he can't believe that--it is one more act of bullying against Yvonne. Being subjected to years of invective is bullying. Being physically attacked is abusive. Even being subject to eye rolling and smirks is inconsistent with such values of the district. But at all times, she fought for your tax money and your children. Being asked to obey the law, thats not bullying, that is your fiduciary obligation.
Through all of that, she took the high road, and did not engage in parallel conduct but was direct and open with her views. If anyone thinks that she is bully, give me a call.
Mr. Meyer: I am offended that you made fun of the fact that a board member was reduced to tears after your wife's public comments last night.
Dear 7:31 poster, I didnt make fun of anybody. I noted that my wife was assaulted, you dont care about that apparently, verbally attacked, again, you dont care, bulleou dont care, that the person who attacked her was supported by the board, you don't care yet again, that the reports dealing with that were coverd up, again you don't care, that tax payer money was spent to defend the cover up, again you do't care, that the board refused to acknowledge of those items, again you don't care, but you do care that one of the people who covered it up cried (someone I did not make fun of)? So, in your world, the highest level of offense is when public officials called to account for covering up physical assaults cry, and that is far more important than when another female public official is assulted doing the same job (which doesn't offend you), or the same public official is bullied (again you are mysteriously not offended) or when some of the record of the assault are covered up (again you feel no level of offense) or that than tax money is spent to defend the cover up (again not even a hint of an offense from you).
That is why I wrote the post and identified myself. Some people, including you dear 7:31 poster, have lost sight of basic American values, equality before the law, freedom of expression and freedom of association. My wife was an elected official. She had a right to her opinons and efforts to silence her were wrongful, in my view. And the conduct that I considered wrongul continued and resulted in a ruling of the attorney general finding the board in violation of law designed to promote core American values.
So I am offended. I am offended that in this whole sorry saga dear 7:31 poster you have lost sight of these basic American values. You did exactly what the board did (perhaps you are unable to see that). In order to divert attention from their bullying they alleged that Yvonne was a bully here and focused on everything but the acteual sequence of events. Here, in this situation, where the wrongful treatment is apparent, all you you can do is make yet another sorry diversion.
If you want to call me, please do. However, I am not willing to engage in any more back and forth.
Dear Jeff and Yvonne,
I don't know either one of you personally, but I think you have many, many supporters in D181. Thank you for your principles, and dedication to our district. Yvonne could have easily walked away from all this craziness, but she chose not to.
Mrs Mayer needs to stop her ranting! it is unfortunate what happened to her regarding the water bottle incident - she needs to move on!! The district has larger and more pressing issues that affect the WHOLE student body. Mrs Mayer is going to loose whatever support she has if she does not pick her battles carefully. I have been on her side all this while.
Mrs Mayer - should have walked away from all this!!
This kind of behavior is unacceptable in a board meeting!!
While I don't know Ms. Mayer personally, I think this community is lucky to have her. As a board member, she took her position seriously, did her homework and provided thoughtful and intelligent comments. Her continued involvement in the district will, in my opinion, only make it better.
Thank you, Ms. Mayer.
It seems ironic for you to criticize a board member when a man defends her when you are doing the same for your wife.
Mr. and Mrs. Mayer, what you are doing is so destructive when things are finally going well.
Jill V has been a great asset to the Board and the Board members have done a lot this year.
Please move forward
Here's my perspective and I don't know any of the board members personally, but I've attended lots of board meetings. I've always thought Mrs. Mayer was fully invested in doing what is best for our kids. Even after her board term ended, she continued attending meetings and pushed for data driven decisions on the curriculum changes. She continued to advocate for our kids, along with some new parents who have stepped forward over the last two years. She didn't just complain about the bottle throwing incident, as some of you want to call it. (In fact, it was a physical assault and I bet if she had thrown the bottle, the board members would have called the police and had her arrested. But, back to the real issues.... )The current board made mistakes. They made the mistakes because it is clear they don't fully understand open governance laws and how to comply with them. The onus is on them to recognize this and act on their own to address their non-compliance. They have chosen not to do this, which is a shame, because I am sure they are all highly intelligent, well meaning individuals who probably want to also do what is best for our kids. But it is also clear that there are a couple, maybe three board members who dislike Mrs. Mayer so much that it has completely clouded their judgement on any issue she speaks out on. They have been openly nasty towards her, in fact toward other parents who have also spoken out on various issues this year. This happened when she was on the board, as well as since then. It is time the nastiness stop and the board get back to the real work at hand, which should include additional training on compliance with ANY law or policy that they are subject to.
Freedom of speech Mr. Turek. Ever heard of it?
10:38: Apparently not! He can add this to the list of rights that he has already concluded need to be stifled.....i.e. the freedom of information act.
10:35: Wow. You obviously didn't read Mr. Mayer's comment or understand it. Nice personal attack on a husband for defending his wife. That is different than a board member defending another board member, which apparently only happens when it doesn't involve Mrs. Mayer....
How about if everyone takes a deep breath and stops this tennis match. Obviously, the two sides that have been commenting back and forth are not going to agree. So can we agree on 3 things?
1. Mrs. Mayer apologized for hurting a board member's feelings and for that she should be commended, especially since the board members haven't reciprocated for all the crap they have thrown (hah!) her way.
2. The AG's office ruled the board violated the OMA. Time for the BOE to actually admit it and do something about it, not just grudgingly take one week before they complied with the ruling.
3. The BOE needs to get back to the curriculum issues and make sure that in the process they don't violate any more rules.
10:35: "Things are finally going well?"
Are you kidding? Respected parents who have been long time volunteers in this district have been labeled bullies and screened out of a committee applicant pool with no evidence to back up the allegations. The curriculum is a mess, parents are very concerned about the emotional toll many parts of the L4A plan have had on their kids, and data hasn't been presented to justify continuing down the L4A path. The budget year ended in deficit spending because 20 years of mold (and all the health issues teachers brought forward) that resulted in an entire school being shut down were ignored. None of these destructive issues were caused by ANY of the outspoken parents who have exercised their freedom of speech rights this year. No, things are not going well, but HOPEFULLY now that Dr. White has arrived, things will improve.
10:36, you summarized the happenings over the last couple years perfectly. 10:59 and 11:09 are also spot on. But let's stop this back and forth. If board members could please start apologizing, just as Yvonne immediatley did, you could really turn this around. Your rallying around Jill might have made her feel better at the meeting last night, but I wish you would have shown Yvonne support like that last year. I wish our administrators could have simply apologized for their errors, too.
Perhaps if the Board had shown Yvonne (and others) 1/10 the amount of sympathy or remorse over the multiple errors that have been made, the atmosphere in 181 would be less toxic. Start showing some kindness and respect towards others, and I am sure the community will respond in like.
Please, let's learn from our mistakes and move on.
I wanted to share this article I came across, as it is how I feel about public education right now. Too many changes, too much testing.
Lets stop talking about a water bottle and get back to what is really important...the kids and their education! We are losing focus here!
Will 181 get it together in time for these new standards? Should Illinois join the many other states who are dropping out of Common Core.
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