April 2021 School Board Meeting Minutes

Due to technical difficulties the meeting was not recorded.

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION CARBONDALE COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 165, CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS HELD APRIL 22, 2021 

The regular scheduled meeting of the Board of Education of School District 165 was held in the cafeteria of Carbondale Community High School, 1301 East Walnut Street, Carbondale, Illinois, on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

Upon roll call, the following members were present:

Linda Flowers                        Francis Tsung
Lana Galan                             Julie VanWinkle
Joe Hudgins                           Brian Woodard
Christopher Swims

Also present:

Stephen Murphy                    Wendell Pohlman
Donna Fager                           Steven Sabens
Ryan Thomas

President Woodard declared a quorum present and the regular meeting of April 21, 2021, was called to order.

Approval of Minutes: Motion by Flowers, seconded by VanWinkle, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting and executive session of March 18, 2021. Roll call:  Flowers, Galan, Hudgins, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle and Woodard voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Member Hudgins stated he wanted to clarify his no vote that was reflected in the minutes from the March Board meeting regarding the contract between the Board of Education and the CCHSEA.  He said he was in favor of the contract as a whole; however, he felt the increase in the number sick days was excessive for a nine-month contract.

Old Business—None

Public Comments: Mr. Murphy referenced a letter from Tammy Kochel regarding the Spring Semester 2020 grading policy. He indicated that Ms. Kochel initially wanted her statement read as a public comment. Mr. Murphy indicated that he agreed with Ms. Kochel’s request, and she no longer wished the letter to be read.

Mr. Thomas read in full the following public comments:

Received from Kim Herron-Titus: 

To the Carbondale Community High School Board Of Education: 

The recent local protests opposing a police officer serving as safety personnel in the halls of Carbondale Community High School (CCHS) demands serious attention and consideration by the board of education.  The National Education Association (NEA) opposes this practice and large urban schools are abandoning the practice.  While there is a need for safety personnel in the school, a uniformed police officer does little to make black and brown students feel safe in their school. Black and brown students may see the uniformed officer not as someone that cares about them, but as a person empowered to cart them or their family members off to jail and as someone who has the right to physically harm them. In the past, as a teacher in the building when a safety/security position was hired, that person increased security for us all in several ways.

Safety protocols were defined and implemented, and the number of hall monitors were increased. The safety/security person’s supervision and training of the hall monitors was instrumental in keeping an eye on what was happening in the hallways and who was coming and going through the doors.  Some of the hall monitors were well known, respected members of the black and brown students’ community.  While the safety/security person was an ex-cop, she never walked the halls armed or in a uniform. It is also my opinion that in this role, the person circumvented a lot of trouble brewing not by arresting students, but by using her knowledge and observations to prevent fights, and arrests, thereby intervening in time to secure the appropriate services for students in need of care not discipline through the justice system. This approach to the safety and security needs of school population suggests an alternative model to the policing of the students by uniformed officers. 

Some hall monitors were part of our local community known, liked, and respected by the students—well maybe not liked, but at least known and respected.  Being well versed in the cultural milieu of our students and in their school setting made them extremely valuable contributors to the safety of the school.  One could say that they functioned as peacekeepers, thereby negating the need for uniformed officers that represent police enforcement. Essentially, they became the first line of intervention able to recognize the nuanced interactions among students and redirect those in need of care not policing to the appropriate social worker, guidance counselor, or assistant principle. What I am suggesting to this board is that considering an alternative model to a uniformed officer in the safety/security position is imperative. These are people in the community that have clear, articulated ideas on an alternative model. Listen to them and begin a dialogue; it will be worth the effort. 

Thanks for Your Consideration 

Kim Herron-Titus

Retired CCHS English Teacher and Department Chair Person

Received from Shannon S. Greer:  

Dear Members of the Carbondale Community High School Board of Education and Superintendent Murphy, 

My name is Shannon Green and I am the parent of a CCHS student. My son, Desmond Stone, is currently a sophomore at Carbondale Community Highschool. I am writing to you today to request that you reconsider the contract to hire and host the position of a School Resource Officer at CCHS. I am of the strong opinions that there are better ways to improve the safety of students at CCHS and that police officers do not belong in schools. While my greatest hope is for this position to be eliminated immediately, I ask that you at least bring this matter into a larger public discussion and delay any decisions about reinstating the SRO contract until the new superintendent assumes his position later this summer.

I understand that one plausible intention of hosting an SRO on a school site is to promote a feeling of safety and enhance the school’s relationship with the local police force. Regardless of this intention, the impact of community policing in school settings is to normalize the surveillance of students in a way that disproportionately impacts students of color, most notably Black and Brown students who are often the victims of unfair policing across all settings and throughout their life spans. Not only does this normalization harm students of color, it has also reinforces a carceral like learning environment that harms all students. While my son is white, he is observing and thus is negatively impacted by the culture of racism and policing that permeates the halls of CCHS. He sees firsthand how school policing is negatively impacting students of color. Are these the lessons that you want him to learn about

how CCHS views its Black and Brown students? I want my son to engage with a learning environment that is supportive and empowering to all students, and nurtures not only a love of learning, but a deep compassion for his fellow students and teachers. Our school has the power to make transformative changes in how our students learn and experience schooling. We have the power to transform our culture on behalf of equity and fairness. There are many steps that the school can and must take to address systemic inequities within CCHS, and eliminating the SRO position is an excellent place to start. I know that many active parents and members of our school community have been working with you for years to reconsider the SRO position and address the school discipline disparities at CCHS. You have been made aware of data and research about the school to prison pipeline, and you have heard the many, many personal stories of current and former CCHS students and parents that are asking you to eliminate this position. This is your opportunity to listen and to act, now.  

Thank you for considering my perspective and please reach out if you would like to discuss this matter any further. I appreciate your thoughtful response to my concerns. 

Sincerely,
Shannon S. Green

Received from Janet Fuller: 

As a parent of two former CCHS students, I would like to voice my concern about having police in schools, and in general racialized ideas about violence that are all to present in US society.  I think these concerns need to be taken seriously and, in the interest of the future of all CCHS students, the police presence should be eliminated. Treat students like students, not criminals.

Thanks,
Janet Fuller

Received from Desmond Stone: 

Hello,

I am Desmond Stone, a sophomore at cchs as of right now and a member of the class of 2023. I would like to say that I support the idea of not renewing the student resources officers position, or at least changing it. The role puts students at risk and does not help contribute the school being a safe place. I would like you to at least discuss the topic and read the other emails sent by members of the carbondale community, and genuinely think about the decision.

Thank you,
Desmond Stone

Received from Adam Stone:

Dear CCHS school board, and Superintendent Murphy,

As a resident of Carbondale, and parent of a current CCHS student, I am writing to ask that you hold off on a decision about renewing the contract of the School Resource Officer until you have (1) asked for public comment and discussion from the entire community, and (2) consulted with the incoming new superintendent.

Thank you,
Adam Stone
Carbondale, IL

Received from Jesslyn Jobe:

Dear CCHS School Board Members,

I am writing to ask that you discontinue the CCHS-Carbondale Police Department contract for employment of a School Resource Officer at CCHS. This request is not a criticism or commentary on the current SRO or any previous SRO who has served the District. It comes as a request that the district take a pause and deeply consider the intent behind having a SRO and whether the purpose of an SRO could be better performed by staff trained in trauma-informed mental health care and conflict resolution, with the police called only in clearly specified emergency circumstances. It comes with a request that the District examine how its discipline policies are enforced, noticing the extreme disparities based on race and that the District follow through on a comprehensive overall of school discipline approaches, with constant monitoring for racial bias and regular accountability through reporting to the community.

It is a request that comes at a particular moment in our country's history, when we see daily that policing continues to be fraught with systemic racism and that young Black and Brown people are often the victims of over- policing and police brutality-sometimes at the cost of their very lives. The students of CCHS see this daily. They live it. They do not need daily reminders at school that their Black and Brown lives are vulnerable to the actions of police officers, with the presence of an an armed police officer in their school.
Perhaps some of you may feel that CCHS students are safer because of the presence of a School Resource Officer. The fear of mass shootings is real and is every community's dread. I understand why you might think that having an officer on staff would be a preventative to that horror scenario. I would invite you to study school shooting events and learn that School Resource Officers have rarely prevented school shootings. But the presence of SROs has very often correlated strongly with more arrests of Black and Brown youth and with just the type of irrefutable discipline disparities by race and ethnicity that we see at CCHS.

Please cancel this contract now. Spend at least two years to closely study the issues CCHS faces regarding safety and discipline and commit to change where it is needed. If you find in a couple years that the District just desperately needs a constant police presence, revisit it with a well-researched stance that centers safety and equity for all CCHS students.

Below are some references for your review and further consideration.

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/23/881608999/why-theres-a-push-to-get-police-out-of-schools

https://dignityinschools.org/take-action/counselors-not-cops/

https://www.ilfps.org/police_free_schools

https://advancementproject.org/

https://www.massjwj.net/news/2020/9/23/report-citizens-for-juvenile-justice-and-strategies-

for-youth-on-the-failurenbspof-school-policing-in-massachusetts
https://education.uconn.edu/2020/10/27/the-prevalence-and-the-price-of-police-in-schools/#

https://www.childtrends.org/blog/research-to-consider-as-schools-address-community-demands-to-renegotiate-school-police-partnerships

Sincerely,
Jesslyn Jobe
1111 W. Walkup Ave.
Carbondale, IL

Received from Luca Comparato:

Dear CCHS Board of Education, 

I hope that this message finds you well and in good health. I am emailing to request the removal of the School Resource Officer. As a member of the Carbondale community, I believe it is necessary that CCHS’s disciplinary policies be addressed. A community conversation must be held regarding how change could be brought to the system at CCHS. As a Carbondale community member, I urge you to consider all possible alternatives to ensure that every member of our community has the space to thrive at school.

I am aware that at CCHS, there were 24 student arrests during the 2018-2019 school year and 15 arrests from the beginning of the 2019 school year until December 12, 2019. Additionally, based on the data from school discipline records, the number of BIPOC students at CCHS is 23% and those minorities make up 76% of the detentions at CCHS. These numbers are disproportionately high, which is also in line with national trends. As a community, are we to believe that CCHS believes BIPOC children are inherently more disruptive, more challenging behaviorally than white kids? Our community deserves better. Our community deserves a just environment for our children. 

Several other models exist that could be a better fit for our students and community. Many advocates suggest replacing School Resource Officers with a robust mental health program for students. Another idea is a peacebuilders program made up of people of color with roots in the community. These staffers could undergo a training program focused on de-escalating conflicts, trauma-informed practices, reducing racial bias, becoming part of a larger behavioral health team. This model is taken from schools in Oakland, CA. A North Carolina model puts peacebuilding programs into the school, placing a qualified team of interventionists in charge of student discipline issues. I encourage you to explore additional models that would fit the school you know so well. Carbondale has long prided itself on its community values and unique, trailblazing decisions. Particularly in the wake of yesterday's trial, it is imperative that Carbondale not only lives up to this standard, but also functions as a model for other schools in Southern Illinois and around the country to follow.

Better solutions are possible. We need to rethink the way we are handling discipline at CCHS. We want to put an end to the school to prison pipeline and commit to ending inequity in discipline practices at Carbondale Community High School. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Luca Comparato

The Board received additional public comments regarding the same subject matter from: Ryder Buchanan Hales, Arlette Seiler-Fuller, M. Stalls PhD, Laneasze Jackson, Amari Jackson, Dawn Crimson and Luke Herron-Titus. They were not read per Board Policy 2:230 (which allows for the condensing of public comments when “…the 20-minute minimum total length of time for any subject…” has been met).   

Mr. Murphy read in full the following public comments:

Received from Erin Sagaskie:

Hi. I did a little research on my own. I think these are important facts that should be included in the public comments for the board meeting. 

A weakness of the existing studies (on SRO's) is that they often focus on just the presence or absence of school-based law enforcement on campus, not on any other factors that might influence the impact of school-based law enforcement, such as how officers are selected, what roles they have in the school, their training, and the support they receive from the school and police administration (Stern & Petrosino, 2018). 

There is currently very little rigorous evaluative research on the effects — in terms of school safety — of having a police presence in schools (Stern & Petrosino, 2018). 

Many of the completed studies are descriptive rather than evaluative and do not report on outcomes. Of those evaluations that do include outcome data, most were not conducted with research designs that are credible in establishing the impact of school-based law enforcement (Fisher & Hennessy, 2016).

Erin Sagaskie, PhD

Received from Olivia Rebellon:

My name is Olivia Rebellón, and I am a junior at CCHS. I feel it is important to keep a resource officer at our high school, especially someone like Officer Dillow. Over the past two years, she has kept our school safe and has provided extra help for kids who need it. She has contributed greatly to campus patrol during and after school hours, and has been an outlet for many students - such as myself - to talk and go to in times of trouble or unease.

Officer Dillow is approachable, kind, patient and communicative with students, and does her job efficiently as both a local police officer and her job at CCHS; it is evident that students more so since she has been hired, have approached her about issues around the school, and even personal issues, making her position even more necessary. The school resource officer in the past has also come into both health and PE classes to talk about self-defense, their involvement in the Carbondale community, and the importance of talking amongst ourselves about school and community issues. It is the resource officer’s job to provide these services as an extra staff member and community protector in the CCHS building –– and it would be a huge mistake for CCHS to get rid of that position, as Officer Dillow has been a great asset to CCHS.

I feel it is also an excellent safety precaution to have a connection to local law enforcement at our school during most hours of the school day. We cannot forget about the gun and weapon threats we have had in the past, much less the school shootings that have been happening recently because school is coming back in session. It would be beneficial for us to have that protection, and also that resource. 

Thank you very much,

Olivia Rebellón

The Board received additional public comments regarding the same subject matter from: Janel Taylor and Gayle Klam. They were not read per Board Policy 2:230 (which allows for the condensing of public comments when “…the 20-minute minimum total length of time for any subject…” has been met).   

Dr. Woodard stated that he would like to take a minute as the current Board President to address the School Resource Officer position.

He said at the present, this board is not going to terminate the SRO position at CCHS. We all see the value of this position as a safety measure for our students, faculty, and staff.

He said there is board consensus that it would be appropriate to review the agreement for any updates, clarifications and changes it deems necessary since we are living in an ever-changing world.

He said there is a new Board of Education being installed after this meeting concludes, a new district superintendent taking over in July, and a new Carbondale police chief being appointed in the next two months.  Therefore, we as a Board have determined that discussion of the School Resource Officer Agreement will take place after all these stakeholders are in place and it would not be prudent for this discussion to take place at the present.

FOIA Requests: The Board received a listing of the 2020-21 FOIA requests received to date.

Correspondence: The Board received emails from Alexander Grabowska, M. Kimberly Henry and Catherine Field regarding the School Resource Officer.

The Board received a letter from Tammy Kochel regarding the Spring Semester 2020 grading policy.

Payment of Bills: Motion by Swims, seconded by Hudgins, to pay the remaining bills for the month of March 2021; and, those available for payment for the month of April 2021. Roll call: Galan, Hudgins, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Woodard and Flowers voted yes. Nay, none.  Motion carried.

Principal’s Report: Mr. Thomas reported on the following:

Credit Recovery Plan 2021-22
This includes Summer 2021, Fall/Spring 2021-22 during the day, and Fall/Spring 2021-22 after school.

Summer 2021
June 7-25, 2021 (can be extended if needed)
15 Days—Maximum 82.5 Hours
Maximum 2.0 Credits Recovered

Courses Offered:
∙English 1/2/3 (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙Biology/PES (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙US History (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙Consumer Education (1 Semester)
∙Health (1 Semester)
∙IAG 1/2/3, Algebra 1/2, Geometry (Semester 1 or Semester 2, but not both—the other semester must be passed during the 2020-21.)

Hours Requirements (All Courses):
∙0%-29% - 30 Hours
∙30%-59% - 20 Hours

Fall and Spring 2021-22 Credit Recovery Lab (1st-6th Hours)

Eligible Students:
∙Any student without an IEP that failed more than one required class (more than 0.5 required credits) in 2020-21 (excluding Math).
∙Students with IEP’s will be allowed to recover credit in their Academic Support (starting with English).
∙Students that failed one required class (0.5 credits) (excluding Math) will be scheduled to repeat the failed class(es).
∙All students that failed 0.5 or 1.0 credits of Math will be scheduled to repeat the failed Math class for the entire year.

Courses Offered:
∙English 1/2/3 (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙Biology/PES (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙US History (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙Consumer Education (1 Semester)
∙Health (1 Semester)

After-School Credit Recovery (Fall 2021)
Students that failed only one required class could recover the class after school while enrolled in it during the school day (optional).

Students could work on Credit Recovery during Credit Recovery Lab and after school complete recovery faster.

Courses Offered:
∙English 1/2/3 (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙Biology/PES (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙US History (Semester 1 and/or Semester 2)
∙Consumer Education (1 Semester)
∙Health (1 Semester)

Hours Requirements (All Courses):
∙0%-29% - 30 Hours
∙30%-59% - 20 Hours

Members VanWinkle and Tsung said they were concerned there was not a mechanism in place for students who wished to have a letter grade rather than a pass grade listed on their transcripts. They said the students should have that option presented to them.

After School Credit Recovery (Spring 2021)
Same as above, but failures from Fall 2021 will be recoverable, including Math.

2021 Summer Enrichment Program
Session 1:   June 7-11, 2021
Session 2:   June 14-18, 2021

Class Times:  
 
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch

Course Offerings:
∙Fun with Code
∙Fun with Physics
∙Girl! You look too BEAUTIFUL!
∙Investing in the Stock Market
∙Landscape Design
∙Show Choir
∙Got Game?
∙Stress Reducer
∙Bullet Journaling
∙Games, Games, Games
∙Ukulele!
∙Real Talk
∙Intro to Programming
∙Mythology Around the World∙Tabletop Gaming
∙Web Design
∙Freshman Academy – Reading, Algebra, English

Bus Transportation:
∙Washington St. and College St.
∙Eurma C. Hayes Center
∙Boys and Girls Club
∙Trinity Christian School
∙Giant City School
∙Unity Point School
∙DeSoto Car Wash
∙Crossings Laundromat

Student Recognitions
·Grace Parks was named FBLA State President.
·Marta Narag was named LEDSC President

Superintendent’s Report: Mr. Murphy updated the Board on the district’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Grants (ESSER). He said the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which became law on December 27, 2020, allocated additional ESSER II funding to public school districts.  The allocation for CCHS District #165 under ESSER II is $2,195,762.  He said the funds must be used to address learning loss, prepare schools for reopening, and upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.  He provided the Board with a memo from district architect, Paul Lunsford, outlining potential projects that are likely covered through ESSER II funding.  He said he would be meeting with district personnel and incoming administration to finalize a grant recommendation for the funds and will present it to the Board in May.  In addition, he said ESSER III funding will be released July 1, 2021, and that the district is estimated to receive $4,928,985. He said he would provide additional information in May and will communicate with district personnel and the upcoming administration to develop recommendations for use of the ESSER funds. 

2021 Board of Education Student Artwork Purchase Award: Motion by Tsung, seconded by Swims, to approve the annual student artwork purchase awards ($200) as presented.  Roll call:  Hudgins, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Woodard, Flowers and Galan voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried. 

Permission to Bid 2021-22 Milk and Bread Products: Motion by Swims, seconded by Flowers, to bid the milk and bread products for the 2021-22 school year as presented. Roll call: Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Woodard, Flowers, Galan and Hudgins voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

2020-21 Amended School Calendar: Motion by Swims, seconded by VanWinkle, to approve the 2020-21 Amended School Calendar as presented. Roll call: Tsung, VanWinkle, Woodard, Flowers, Galan, Hudgins and Swims voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried. 

Board Policy 5:330 Update/Adoption: Motion by Flowers, seconded by Swims, to approve the update to Board Policy 5:330, increasing the number of sick days for support personnel from 12 days to 14 days for full-time 12-month employees. The introduction of Board Policy 5:330 update occurred at the March 18, 2021 Board meeting.  Roll call: VanWinkle, Woodard, Flowers, Galan, Hudgins, Swims and Tsung voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried. 

Executive Session—None 

Resignations/Retirements: Motion by Hudgins, seconded by VanWinkle, to accept the resignations/ retirements of the following personnel as presented: 

a. Retirement of Sandy Stanley (math teacher) effective at the conclusion of the 2023-24 school year.

b. Retirement of Arnold Taylor (world languages teacher) effective at the conclusion of the 2023-24 school year.

Roll call: Woodard, Flowers, Galan, Hudgins, Swims, Tsung and VanWinkle voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Employment of 2020-21 Extra-Duty Personnel: Motion by Swims, seconded by Hudgins, to employ the following 2020-21 extra-duty personnel as presented:

Band Director: Greg Townsend $4,962.00
Assistant Band Director: Madalyn Hughes $320.00, Heather Taylor $320.00, Lori Trexler $320.00
Vocal Music Director: Rebecca Browning $2,625.00

Roll call: Flowers, Galan, Hudgins, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle and Woodard voted yes.  Nay, none. Motion carried.

2020-21 Volunteers—None

Abstract of Votes: The Board received a copy of the Abstract of Votes Cast at the Consolidated General Election of April 5, 2021.  The abstract officially notified the school district of the election of Wendell Pohlman, Steven Sabens, Frances Tsung and Julie VanWinkle.

Recognition of Retiring Board of Education Members: Mr. Murphy recognized retiring Board of Education members, Dr. Joe Hudgins and Dr. Brian Woodard for their service on the Board of Education. Dr. Hudgins was a Board member for nine years and served as the Board Secretary for the last two years. Dr. Brian Woodard was a Board member for eight years and served as Board President for the last six years.

Dr. Woodard’s Statement: I would just like to say that it has been an honor and privilege to serve on this board for the last eight years.

To this board, I have appreciated your never-ending commitments, insights, and willingness to do what is best for this school, no matter your individual opinions. I feel we have truly functioned as a unified board.

To our administration and staff, I appreciate your dedication, respect, and willingness to work with this board.  Your prompt attention to our requests and your thoroughness will always be remembered.

To our faculty, I have always said you are the backbone of this great and wonderful school.  You are the ones that truly make CCHS one of the best high schools in this state.

Finally, to the Carbondale community, Thank-You again for allowing me to serve. Go TERRIERS!!

Dr. Hudgins’ Statement: My tenure here is now at nine years.  As you approach your last meeting, you begin to think about why you wanted to be a part of the CCHS Board of Education in the first place.  And after this past challenging year, you think about that question even more. But that comes with commitment.  Serving on the School Board is a fundamental cornerstone of local governance of schools. And as our schools play a major role as part of our community and educating our children, it really is a monumental task we all assume.

There are many reasons any of us do this

·civic duty and responsibility

·pride in our community

·preservation of our community

·nostalgia as a former student

·thankfulness for previous opportunity afforded by the community and this school

·your children who attend school

On your last meeting, you begin to think of the legacy you will leave behind. 

There are many decisions we have made together over the years, and most I am proud of and still content with.  An overriding goal of mine has always been to leave Carbondale Community High School as good as I found it, and if possible, make it a little better.  With that, I would like to thank all of you, my current and past fellow Board members, Steve, Lucia, Donna, Ryan, and all of the talented and dedicated teachers and staff here.  We are blessed. I wish you all well.  It has been a pleasure. 

Adjourn “Old” Board of Education Sine Die: Motion by Flowers, seconded by Galan, to adjourn the “old” Board of Education sine die.  Roll call: Galan, Hudgins, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Woodard and Flowers voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

New Board Convenes: Mr. Murphy served as President Pro Tempore of the new Board of Education to preside over the election of President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Board of Education to serve a two-year term. Lucia Kelso served as Recording Secretary Pro Tempore.

New Board Members State Oath of Office: President Pro Tempore Murphy administered the Oath of Office to the newly elected Board of Education members Wendell Pohlman, Steven Sabens, Frances Tsung and Julie VanWinkle.

Seating of New Board Members: The newly elected Board of Education members were seated.

Call to Order and Roll Call: President Pro Tempore Murphy called the meeting to order and requested a roll call of the members of the Board of Education.  The following members were present: 

Linda Flowers               Christopher Swims
Lana Galan                    Francis Tsung
Wendell Pohlman      Julie VanWinkle
Steven Sabens 

Election of Board of Education Officers: President Pro Tempore Murphy requested nominations for the election of President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Board of Education to serve a two-year term.  Member Flowers made a motion to nominate Christopher Swims President, Julie VanWinkle Vice President and herself Secretary.

Member Tsung made a motion to nominate Steve Sabens President.

President Pro Tempore Murphy called for all those in favor of Julie VanWinkle as Vice President and Linda Flowers as Secretary to say yea and those not in favor to say nay. The following members voted yea Flowers, Galan, Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung and VanWinkle.  There were no nays.  The motion carried naming Julie VanWinkle Board of Education Vice President and Linda Flowers Board of Education Secretary for a two-year term.

President Pro Tempore Murphy called for all those in favor of Christopher Swims as Board President to say yea and those not in favor to say nay.  The following members voted yea Flowers, Swims and VanWinkle. The following members voted nay Galan, Pohlman, Sabens and Tsung.

President Pro Tempore Murphy called for all those in favor of Steve Sabens as Board President to vote yea and those not in favor to say nay. The following members voted yea Galan, Pohlman, Sabens and Tsung. The following members voted nay Flowers, Swims and VanWinkle. The motion carried naming Steve Sabens as Board of Education President for a two-year term. 

Appointment of School Treasurer and Recording Secretary: Motion by Tsung, seconded by Swims, to appoint Donna Fager as School Treasurer and Lucia Kelso as Recording Secretary.  Roll call:  Flowers, Galan,      Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung and VanWinkle voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Standing Policies and Existing Contracts: President Sabens stated all standing policies and existing contracts of the Board of Education would remain enforce. Mr. Sabens asked when the SRO contract would expire.  Mr. Murphy said there was no expiration date. He said it was in effect until it was cancelled. Mr. Sabens indicated that incoming superintendent Daniel Booth could study the agreement, possibly with a committee.

Establish Regular Board of Education Meeting Calendar
: Motion by Tsung, seconded by Swims, to schedule the Board of Education Meetings at 6:00 p.m., in the Carbondale Community High School Cafeteria, 1301 East Walnut Street, Carbondale, Illinois, on the following dates:

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Thursday, December 16, 2021
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Thursday, April 21, 2022
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Thursday, June 16, 2022

Roll call: Galan, Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle and Flowers voted yes.  Nay, none. Motion carried.

Appointment of Committees: President Sabens stated the committee assignments would be appointed as needed.

2021 Graduation Ceremony: Dr. Francis Tsung will receive the Class of 2021 at the Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 3:00 p.m., on Bleyer Field.  Members Christopher Swims, Lana Galan, Linda Flowers and Julie VanWinkle advised they would be attending ceremony.  In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held the following day, Sunday, May 16, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. on Bleyer Field. 

Closing Remarks: President Sabens requested adding Closing Comments to the Board meeting agenda so that Board members could comment if they wished to.

May Board Meeting: Next Board of Education Meeting:  Thursday, May 20, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 7:17 p.m.

MINUTES APPROVED: May 20, 2021

April 22, 2021 Public Comments

Kim Herron-Titus
Shannon Green
Janet Fuller
Desmond Stone
Adam Stone
Jesslyn Jobe
Luca Comparato
Ryder Buchanan Hales
Siri Rigsby
Arlette Seiler-Fuller
M. Stalls, PhD
Laneasze Jackson
Amari Jackson
Dawn Crimson
Moss Shepherd

Erin Sagaskie
Olivia Rebellon
Gayle Klam
Janel Taylor

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To the Carbondale Community High School Board Of Education:

The recent local protests opposing a police officer serving as safety personnel in the halls of Carbondale Community High School (CCHS) demands serious attention and consideration by the board of education.  The National Education Association (NEA) opposes this practice and large urban schools are abandoning the practice.  While there is a need for safety personnel in the school, a uniformed police officer does little to make black and brown students feel safe in their school. Black and brown students may see the uniformed officer not as someone that cares about them, but as a person empowered to cart them or their family members off to jail and as someone who has the right to physically harm them. In the past, as a teacher in the building when a safety/security position was hired, that person increased security for us all in several ways.

Safety protocols were defined and implemented, and the number of hall monitors were increased. The safety/security person’s supervision and training of the hall monitors was instrumental in keeping an eye on what was happening in the hallways and who was coming and going through the doors.  Some of the hall monitors were well known, respected members of the black and brown students’ community.  While the safety/security person was an ex-cop, she never walked the halls armed or in a uniform. It is also my opinion that in this role, the person circumvented a lot of trouble brewing not by arresting students, but by using her knowledge and observations to prevent fights, and arrests, thereby intervening in time to secure the appropriate services for students in need of care not discipline through the justice system. This approach to the safety and security needs of school population suggests an alternative model to the policing of the students by uniformed officers.

Some hall monitors were part of our local community known, liked, and respected by the students—well maybe not liked, but at least known and respected.  Being well versed in the cultural milieu of our students and in their school setting made them extremely valuable contributors to the safety of the school.  One could say that they functioned as peacekeepers, thereby negating the need for uniformed officers that represent police enforcement. Essentially, they became the first line of intervention able to recognize the nuanced interactions among students and redirect those in need of care not policing to the appropriate social worker, guidance counselor, or assistant principle. What I am suggesting to this board is that considering an alternative model to a uniformed officer in the safety/security position is imperative. These are people in the community that have clear, articulated ideas on an alternative model. Listen to them and begin a dialogue; it will be worth the effort.

Thanks for Your Consideration

Kim Herron-Titus
(618) 303-1537
Retired CCHS English Teacher and Department Chair Person

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School Resource Officer Position
Shannon Green <sgreenece@gmail.com>
Mon 4/19/2021 8:34 PM
To: Board <Board@cchs165.com>; Steve Murphy <Steve.Murphy@cchs165.com>

Dear Members of the Carbondale Community High School Board of Education and Superintendent Murphy,  

My name is Shannon Green and I am the parent of a CCHS student. My son, Desmond Stone, is currently a sophomore at Carbondale Community Highschool. I am writing to you today to request that you reconsider the contract to hire and host the position of a School Resource Officer at CCHS. I am of the strong opinions that there are better ways to improve the safety of students at CCHS and that police officers do not belong in schools. While my greatest hope is for this position to be eliminated immediately, I ask that you at least bring this matter into a larger public discussion and delay any decisions about reinstating the SRO contract until the new superintendent assumes his position later this summer.  

I understand that one plausible intention of hosting an SRO on a school site is to promote a feeling of safety and enhance the school’s relationship with the local police force. Regardless of this intention, the impact of community policing in school settings is to normalize the surveillance of students in a way that disproportionately impacts students of color, most notably Black and Brown students who are often the victims of unfair policing across all settings and throughout their life spans. Not only does this normalization harm students of color, it has also reinforces a carceral like learning environment that harms all students. While my son is white, he is observing and thus is negatively impacted by the culture of racism and policing that permeates the halls of CCHS. He sees firsthand how school policing is negatively impacting students of color. Are these the lessons that you want him to learn about how CCHS views its Black and Brown students? I want my son to engage with a learning environment that is supportive and empowering to all students, and nurtures not only a love of learning, but a deep compassion for his fellow students and teachers. Our school has the power to make transformative changes in how our students learn and experience schooling. We have the power to transform our culture on behalf of equity and fairness. There are many steps that the school can and must take to address systemic inequities within CCHS, and eliminating the SRO position is an excellent place to start. I know that many active parents and members of our school community have been working with you for years to reconsider the SRO position and address the school discipline disparities at CCHS. You have been made aware of data and research about the school to prison pipeline, and you have heard the many, many personal stories of current and former CCHS students and parents that are asking you to eliminate this position. This is your opportunity to listen and to act, now.  

Thank you for considering my perspective and please reach out if you would like to discuss this matter any further. I appreciate your thoughtful response to my concerns. 

 Sincerely,

Shannon S. Green
800 S. Taylor Dr.
Carbondale, IL
618-316-1595
sgreenece@gmail.com
--
Shannon S. Green
Artist & Early Childhood Educator
Doctoral Candidate, Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
email(s) sgreenece@gmail.com or ShannonSGreen@siu.edu
pronouns: she/her/hers

**********************************************************

From: Janet Fuller <jmfuller8@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 1:12 AM
To: Steve Murphy <Steve.Murphy@cchs165.com>
Subject: police in schools

As a parent of two former CCHS students, I would like to voice my concern about having police in schools, and in general racialized ideas about violence that are all to present in US society.  I think these concerns need to be taken seriously and, in the interest of the future of all CCHS students, the police presence should be eliminated. Treat students like students, not criminals.

Thanks, Janet Fuller                                                                  

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Student Resource Officer
Desmond Stone
Tue 4/20/2021 4:59 PM

Hello,

I am Desmond Stone, a sophomore at cchs as of right now and a member of the class of 2023. I would like to say that I support the idea of not renewing the student resources officers position, or at least changing it. The role puts students at risk and does not help contribute the school being a safe place. I would like you to at least discuss the topic and read the other emails sent by members of the carbondale community, and genuinely think about the decision.

Thank you,

Desmond Stone

**********************************************************

School Resource Officer contract
Adam Stone <astonejd01@yahoo.com>
Tue 4/20/2021 11:05 AM

Dear CCHS school board, and Superintendent Murphy,

As a resident of Carbondale, and parent of a current CCHS student, I am writing to ask that you hold off on a decision about renewing the contract of the School Resource Officer until you have (1) asked for public comment and discussion from the entire community, and (2) consulted with the incoming new superintendent.

Thank you,

Adam Stone
Carbondale, IL

**********************************************************

Please share the following with members of the CCHS school board at this week's board meeting. Thank you.

Dear CCHS School Board Members,

I am writing to ask that you discontinue the CCHS-Carbondale Police Department contract for employment of a School Resource Officer at CCHS. This request is not a criticism or commentary on the current SRO or any previous SRO who has served the District. It comes as a request that the district take a pause and deeply consider the intent behind having a SRO and whether the purpose of an SRO could be better performed by staff trained in trauma-informed mental health care and conflict resolution, with the police called only in clearly specified emergency circumstances. It comes with a request that the District examine how its discipline policies are enforced, noticing the extreme disparities based on race and that the District follow through on a comprehensive overall of school discipline approaches, with constant monitoring for racial bias and regular accountability through reporting to the community.

It is a request that comes at a particular moment in our country's history, when we see daily that policing continues to be fraught with systemic racism and that young Black and Brown people are often the victims of over- policing and police brutality-sometimes at the cost of their very lives. The students of CCHS see this daily. They live it. They do not need daily reminders at school that their Black and Brown lives are vulnerable to the actions of police officers, with the presence of an an armed police officer in their school.

Perhaps some of you may feel that CCHS students are safer because of the presence of a School Resource Officer. The fear of mass shootings is real and is every community's dread. I understand why you might think that having an officer on staff would be a preventative to that horror scenario. I would invite you to study school shooting events and learn that School Resource Officers have rarely prevented school shootings. But the presence of SROs has very often correlated strongly with more arrests of Black and Brown youth and with just the type of irrefutable discipline disparities by race and ethnicity that we see at CCHS.

Please cancel this contract now. Spend at least two years to closely study the issues CCHS faces regarding safety and discipline and commit to change where it is needed. If you find in a couple years that the District just desperately needs a constant police presence, revisit it with a well-researched stance that centers safety and equity for all CCHS students.

Below are some references for your review and further consideration.

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/23/881608999/why-theres-a-push-to-get-police-out-of-schools
https://dignityinschools.org/take-action/counselors-not-cops/
https://www.ilfps.org/police_free_schools
hhtps://advancementproject.org/
https://www.massjwj.net/news/2020/9/23/report-citizens-for-juvenile-justice-and-strategies-for-youth-on-the-failurenbspof-school-policing-in-massachusetts
https://education.uconn.edu/2020/10/27/the-prevalence-and-the-price-of-police-in-schools/#
https://www.childtrends.org/blog/research-to-consider-as-schools-address-community-demands-to-renegotiate-school-police-partnerships

Sincerely,

Jesslyn Jobe
1111 W. Walkup Ave.
Carbondale, IL

**********************************************************

SRO Removal
Luca Comparato
Wed 4/21/2021 9:39 AM

Dear CCHS Board of Education, 

I hope that this message finds you well and in good health. I am emailing to request the removal of the School Resource Officer. As a member of the Carbondale community, I believe it is necessary that CCHS’s disciplinary policies be addressed. A community conversation must be held regarding how change could be brought to the system at CCHS. As a Carbondale community member, I urge you to consider all possible alternatives to ensure that every member of our community has the space to thrive at school.

I am aware that at CCHS, there were 24 student arrests during the 2018-2019 school year and 15 arrests from the beginning of the 2019 school year until December 12, 2019. Additionally, based on the data from school discipline records, the number of BIPOC students at CCHS is 23% and those minorities make up 76% of the detentions at CCHS. These numbers are disproportionately high, which is also in line with national trends. As a community, are we to believe that CCHS believes BIPOC children are inherently more disruptive, more challenging behaviorally than white kids? Our community deserves better. Our community deserves a just environment for our children. 

Several other models exist that could be a better fit for our students and community. Many advocates suggest replacing School Resource Officers with a robust mental health program for students. Another idea is a peacebuilders program made up of people of color with roots in the community. These staffers could undergo a training program focused on de-escalating conflicts, trauma-informed practices, reducing racial bias, becoming part of a larger behavioral health team. This model is taken from schools in Oakland, CA. A North Carolina model puts peacebuilding programs into the school, placing a qualified team of interventionists in charge of student discipline issues. I encourage you to explore additional models that would fit the school you know so well. Carbondale has long prided itself on its community values and unique, trailblazing decisions. Particularly in the wake of yesterday's trial, it is imperative that Carbondale not only lives up to this standard, but also functions as a model for other schools in Southern Illinois and around the country to follow.

Better solutions are possible. We need to rethink the way we are handling discipline at CCHS. We want to put an end to the school to prison pipeline and commit to ending inequity in discipline practices at Carbondale Community High School. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely, 

Luca Comparato

**********************************************************

Ending the school to prison pipeline
Ryder Buchanan Hales <ryderhales@gmail.com>
Wed 4/21/2021 11:56 AM

Dear CCHS Board of Education,

I hope that this message finds you well and in good health. My name is Ryder Hales, a former student at CCHS. I am emailing to request the removal of the School Resource Officer. As a member of the Carbondale community, I believe it is necessary that CCHS’s disciplinary policies be addressed. A community conversation must be held regarding how change could be brought to the system at CCHS. Nationally, school suspensions and expulsions have increased fivefold since 1980, an increase that has come with the decades-long increase in school policing; disciplinary proceedings initiated by School Resource Officers, as with the justice system outside of schools, are implemented more harshly and more frequently with students of color.

I am aware that at CCHS, there were 24 student arrests during the 2018-2019 school year and 15 arrests from the beginning of the 2019 school year until December 12, 2019. Additionally, based on the data from school discipline records, the number of minority students at CCHS is 23% and those minorities make up 76% of the detentions at CCHS. These numbers are disproportionately high, which is also in line with national trends. As a community, are we to believe that CCHS believes minority children are inherently more disruptive, more challenging behaviorally than white kids? Our community deserves better. Our community deserves a just environment where our children can thrive at school. 

Several other models exist that could be a better fit for our students and community. Many advocates suggest replacing School Resource Officers with a robust mental health program for students. Another idea is a peacebuilders program made up of people of color with roots in the community. These staffers could undergo a training program focused on de-escalating conflicts, trauma-informed practices, reducing racial bias, becoming part of a larger behavioral health team. This model is taken from schools in Oakland, CA. A North Carolina model puts peacebuilding programs into the school, placing a qualified team of interventionists in charge of student discipline issues. Carbondale has long prided itself on its community values and unique, trailblazing decisions. Isn’t it time for our school system to live up to that reputation?

Better solutions are possible. We need to rethink the way we are handling discipline at CCHS. We want to put an end to the school to prison pipeline and commit to ending inequity in discipline practices at Carbondale Community High School. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely, 

Ryder Hales
He, him, his pronouns
CU Boulder class of 2022, dual degree in Percussion and Chemistry. Sko Buffs!
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" - Krishnamurti
"To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering" - Friedrich Nietzsche

**********************************************************

Move SRO funding to community support, end school to prison pipeline.
Siri Rigsby <siriadrianne@gmail.com>
Wed 4/21/2021 1:00 PM

Hello CCHS Board, Mr Murphy, Mr Thomas, and Mr. Booth,

My name is Siri Rigsby, I am a CCHS alumni, class of 2012. I am emailing to request the removal of the School Resource Officer. As a former student of CCHS, I believe it is necessary that CCHS’s disciplinary policies be addressed.

A community conversation must be held regarding how change could be brought to the system at CCHS. Nationally, school suspensions and expulsions have increased fivefold since 1980, an increase that has come with the decades-long increase in school policing; disciplinary proceedings initiated by School Resource Officers, as with the justice system outside of schools, are implemented more harshly and more frequently with students of color.

I am aware that at CCHS, there were 24 student arrests during the 2018-2019 school year and 15 arrests from the beginning of the 2019 school year until December 12, 2019. Additionally, based on the data from school discipline records, the number of minority students at CCHS is 23% and those minorities make up 76% of the detentions at CCHS. These numbers are disproportionately high. As a community, are we to believe that CCHS believes kids of color are inherently more disruptive, more challenging behaviorally than white kids? Our community deserves better. Our community deserves a just environment where our children can thrive at school. 

While these statistics are from 2018-2019, I remember from my time at CCHS, how often Black students were sent to detention. If you were to go to one section of the school (where the office and detention was) you could see so many Black students. Where as the hallways where AP and Honors classes were, so many white students. It is past time for CCHS to address these practices. Carbondale has long prided itself on its community values and unique, trailblazing decisions. Isn’t it time for our school system to live up to that reputation?

Better solutions are possible. We need to rethink the way we are handling discipline at CCHS.

Thank you for your time,

Siri--

Siri A. Rigsby
siriadrianne@gmail.com
pronouns: she/they
Learn more about pronoun use here. 

**********************************************************

Arlette Seiler-Fuller <seiler.fuller@gmail.com>
Wed 4/21/2021 4:20 PM

Dear board members, Mr. Murphy, Mr Thomas, and Mr. Booth,

My name is Arlette Seiler-Fuller. I am a CCHS graduate, year 2010. I am emailing to request the removal of the school resource officer. As a former student and a member of the Carbondale community, I believe that CCHS's disciplinary policies need to be addressed.

Police have no business in the school system. It's been proven that having police in school is not safer, does not mean less violence, but the opposite.

Thank you,

Arlette

**********************************************************

Student Resource Officer
Stalls, M <ayo3@siu.edu>
Wed 4/21/2021 4:29 PM

Dear Superintendent Murphy, Board Members, Fellow Citizens

Let me say I'm very proud of this generation of youngsters faced with so many challenges not of their own making yet striving to move forward anyway. I have been concerned about the Student Resource Officer matter for some time. I'd appreciate if my comments can be read in the Public Comment of the Board Meeting on 4/22/2021.

I don't think having an armed police officer in our School positively fosters, enhances, secures, overwhelmingly contributes to the current or future students in the District.  At a minimum I join others who suggest that at a minimum the consideration of an SRO Position be deferred until AFTER   a new Superintendent has been hired. 

I offer a few more thoughts as follow for your, the Board, Students and fellow citizens' consideration:

Could Resources in various other forms instead of that of an armed police officer in the school contribute to a more just, less systemically racist, safer overall climate for ALL students?

How are regular assessments made of how up to date Instructional Staff's efficacy with Classroom Management and Innovative Classroom   Strategies Assessed?

How has the District guarded against Students possibly being targeted by SRO because of including, problematic, systemic expectations, social class of students, misperceptions about differently abled, and SRO's personal implicit bias/es?   

How has SROs implicit bias/es been assessed as they carried out the role in the school?

I ask that the only action that is taken at this time is that a decision on  an armed Student Resource Officer Position in CCHS District 165 be deferred until a new Superintendent is on Board; or that the Board vote to eliminate an SRO for the District;  or that the position description for the RSO be reviewed,  then rewritten such that it has education functions as its core and is executed by an  Educational-Psycho-Social-Health professional, Team, not someone/s  called and trained as typically known as a police officer armed or not.

Sincerely,

M Stalls, PhD
CCHS Aluma

**********************************************************

SRO presence
Laneasze Jackson <laneasze@gmail.com>
Wed 4/21/2021 4:54 PM

Dear CCHS Board of Education,

I hope that this message finds you well and in good health. My name is Laneasze Jackson and I am a mother to a CCHS graduate. I am emailing to request the removal of the School Resource Officer. As a member of the Carbondale community, I believe it is necessary that CCHS’s disciplinary policies be addressed. A community conversation must be held regarding how change could be brought to the system at CCHS. Nationally, school suspensions and expulsions have increased fivefold since 1980, an increase that has come with the decades-long increase in school policing; disciplinary proceedings initiated by School Resource Officers, as with the justice system outside of schools, are implemented more harshly and more frequently with students of color.

I am aware that at CCHS, there were 24 student arrests during the 2018-2019 school year and 15 arrests from the beginning of the 2019 school year until December 12, 2019. Additionally, based on the data from school discipline records, the number of minority students at CCHS is 23% and those minorities make up 76% of the detentions at CCHS. These numbers are disproportionately high, which is also in line with national trends. As a community, are we to believe that CCHS believes minority children are inherently more disruptive, more challenging behaviorally than white kids? Our community deserves better. Our community deserves a just environment where our children can thrive at school. 

Several other models exist that could be a better fit for our students and community. Many advocates suggest replacing School Resource Officers with a robust mental health program for students. Another idea is a peacebuilders program made up of people of color with roots in the community. These staffers could undergo a training program focused on de-escalating conflicts, trauma-informed practices, reducing racial bias, becoming part of a larger behavioral health team. This model is taken from schools in Oakland, CA. A North Carolina model puts peacebuilding programs into the school, placing a qualified team of interventionists in charge of student discipline issues. Carbondale has long prided itself on its community values and unique, trailblazing decisions. Isn’t it time for our school system to live up to that reputation?

Better solutions are possible. We need to rethink the way we are handling discipline at CCHS. We want to put an end to the school to prison pipeline and commit to ending inequity in discipline practices at Carbondale Community High School. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Laneasze Jackson

**********************************************************

CCHS Board Comments
Amari Jackson <amari.jackson2018@gmail.com>
Wed 4/21/2021 5:01 PM

Dear CCHS Board of Education,

I hope that this message finds you well and in good health. My name is AJ, and I am a former student at CCHS. I am emailing to request the removal of the School Resource Officer. As a member of the Carbondale community, I believe it is necessary that CCHS’s disciplinary policies be addressed. A community conversation must be held regarding how change could be brought to the system at CCHS. Nationally, school suspensions and expulsions have increased fivefold since 1980, an increase that has come with the decades-long increase in school policing; disciplinary proceedings initiated by School Resource Officers, as with the justice system outside of schools, are implemented more harshly and more frequently with students of color.

I am aware that at CCHS, there were 24 student arrests during the 2018-2019 school year and 15 arrests from the beginning of the 2019 school year until December 12, 2019. Additionally, based on the data from school discipline records, the number of minority students at CCHS is 23% and those minorities make up 76% of the detentions at CCHS. These numbers are disproportionately high, which is also in line with national trends. As a community, are we to believe that CCHS believes minority children are inherently more disruptive, more challenging behaviorally than white kids? Our community deserves better. Our community deserves a just environment where our children can thrive at school. 

The amount of times I saw girls report-or rather- attempt to report their assault to a negligent staff is a stain of shame on CCHS. In that time, I saw that girls turning in reports on the same abuser, while no real consequences came to that person, and no real resources were made available to support victims. This is what social services could've done to support these victims instead of continue a legacy of CCHS misogynistic sexualization of young girls' bodies, while providing no accountability to the root causes of these issues. The RSO knew of what happened to these sexual assault victims and still nothing happened.

Several other models exist that could be a better fit for our students and community. Many advocates suggest replacing School Resource Officers with a robust mental health program for students. Another idea is a peacebuilders program made up of people of color with roots in the community. These staffers could undergo a training program focused on de-escalating conflicts, trauma-informed practices, reducing racial bias, becoming part of a larger behavioral health team. This model is taken from schools in Oakland, CA. A North Carolina model puts peacebuilding programs into the school, placing a qualified team of interventionists in charge of student discipline issues. Carbondale has long prided itself on its community values and unique, trailblazing decisions. Isn’t it time for our school system to live up to that reputation?

Better solutions are possible. We need to rethink the way we are handling discipline at CCHS. We want to put an end to the school to prison pipeline and commit to ending inequity in discipline practices at Carbondale Community High School. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely, 

AJ

**********************************************************

From: Dawn Crimson <dawn@dawncrimson.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 12:04 PM
To: Brian Woodard <Brian.Woodard@cchs165.com>; Linda Flowers <Linda.Flowers@cchs165.com>; Joe Hudgins <Joe.Hudgins@cchs165.com>; Lana Galan <Lana.Galan@cchs165.com>; Christopher Swims <Christopher.Swims@cchs165.com>; Francis Tsung <Francis.Tsung@cchs165.com>; Julie VanWinkle <Julie.VanWinkle@cchs165.com>; Steve Murphy <Steve.Murphy@cchs165.com>
Subject: Parental input regarding SRO and discipline

 Greetings to the CCHS school board:

I empathize with the very difficult discernment required of you as you consider the issues of the School Resource Officer and student disciplinary procedures, which are separate but intersecting.

Safety from physical violence is the top issue, in my opinion. We are mired in a mental health and firearm-availability crisis. If a School Resource Officer was only responsible for mitigating fights and attacks, it could be an acceptable solution. But it also begs the question whether there are other ways to mitigate the risks of violence. It is hard work dealing with the traumas and behavioral health issues of juveniles, and it requires social workers and health professionals.

Examining why children of color are being formally disciplined at higher rates than white kids is really important. One can hope that identifying the factors contributing to their behaviors can inspire new strategies and programs. Systemic racism endured from infancy onward is traumatizing. So are poverty, and attendant poor health care, which affect families of every race and color. Schools can't solve these root issues, but you are forced to recognize them and cope as best you can. Report your quandaries back to the community and local government, where perhaps resources can be re-aligned, given updated priorities.

I suggest that the SRO should not be used to arrest children and take them to the police station, unless they present a clear threat of weapons violence. If a kid breaks a drug or property law, find some other way to work with the child and the family than propelling them into the law enforcement and justice system. We have seen over and over that the outcome can do much more harm than good.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dawn Crimson
Carbondale
618-303-1040

**********************************************************

From: Moss Shepherd <moss.shepherd98@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 1:54 PM
To: Steve Murphy <Steve.Murphy@cchs165.com>
Subject: Removal of the SRO

Dear Superintendent Murphy, 

I hope that this message finds you well and in good health. My name is Moss (he/him), and I am a former student with a current sibling at CCHS and future siblings planning on attending. I am emailing to request the removal of the School Resource Officer. As a member of the Carbondale community, I believe it is necessary that CCHS’s disciplinary policies be addressed. A community conversation must be held regarding how change could be brought to the system at CCHS. As the superintendent of CCHS and a Carbondale community member, I urge you to consider all possible alternatives to ensure that every student feels supported and welcome.

I am aware that at CCHS, there were 24 student arrests during the 2018-2019 school year and 15 arrests from the beginning of the 2019 school year until December 12, 2019. Additionally, based on the data from school discipline records, the number of minority students at CCHS is 23% and those minorities make up 76% of the detentions at CCHS. These numbers are disproportionately high, which is also in line with national trends. As a community, are we to believe that CCHS believes minority children are inherently more disruptive, more challenging behaviorally than white kids? Our community deserves better. Our community deserves a just environment where our children can thrive at school. 

I'm 23yrs old, and a former CCHS student who had to unfortunately drop out at the end of my junior year. The last half year at school I technically was homeless as my parent abandoned me. I had to go live with what is now my ex-boyfriend to even try and continue my schooling. Before I was abandoned though my career at CCHS was still a poor experience due to both home and school issues. I was severely mentally ill and lacking proper help and accomodations. I struggled through every day in that building and in the end my school failed not only me but both my siblings in similar ways. So it saddens me to hear both past and current students also talk about having bad experiences at CCHS when I know we could do something to change that.

Several other models exist that could be a better fit for our students and community. Many advocates suggest replacing School Resource Officers with a robust mental health program for students. Another idea is a peacebuilders program made up of people of color with roots in the community. These staffers could undergo a training program focused on de-escalating conflicts, trauma-informed practices, reducing racial bias, becoming part of a larger behavioral health team. This model is taken from schools in Oakland, CA. A North Carolina model puts peacebuilding programs into the school, placing a qualified team of interventionists in charge of student discipline issues. I encourage you to explore additional models that would fit the school you know so well. Carbondale has long prided itself on its community values and unique, trailblazing decisions. Isn’t it time for our school system to live up to that reputation?

Better solutions are possible. We need to rethink the way we are handling discipline at CCHS. We want to put an end to the school to prison pipeline and commit to ending inequity in discipline practices at Carbondale Community High School. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely, 

Moss Shepherd

**********************************************************

From: Luke Herron-Titus <lht619@gmail.com>
Date: April 22, 2021 at 4:59:22 PM CDT
To: Steve Murphy <Steve.Murphy@cchs165.com>
Subject: Public Comment

Dear Board Members,

I would like to comment on the foundations of the security protocols at CCHS and how they relate to self fulfilling prophecies. In my Developing Multicultural Educators that is taught to many aspiring teachers at John A. Logan Community we learned about the famous study of Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. In this study, researchers randomly assigned IQ scores to students and told teachers that some students were “academic spurters” and should be expected to greatly improve their scores over the school year. Based on what they were told, teachers treated their students differently and those randomly designated “academic spurters” saw much more IQ improvement than those randomly designated otherwise. The three steps of a self-fulfilling prophecy in an educational context are: 

“First, teachers develop beliefs about their students, and then second, they allow their behaviors toward students to be affected by those beliefs. Third, students respond to this treatment by behaving in ways that confirm those beliefs that teachers hold about them.” (Noel 77)

Educators are also taught how the self fulfilling prophecies play out in tracking:

“When the ideas of self-fulfilling prophecy and tracking are linked, we can see    that students who are placed in lower tracks (1) are perceived as low achievers, (2) are treated as low achievers, and (3) will likely react to this treatment by fulfilling those lowered expectations.” (Noel 80)

We know all too well how self-fulfilling prophecies about people of color can come into play with tragic results. Think about all the “super predator” logic of the Racist War On Drugs and Mass Incarceration that prophesied George Zimmerman’s murdering of Trayvon Martin. What prophecies fulfilled themselves when Ahmaud Arbery was murdered by a group of white men because he was out for a jog?

I submit to the board today that societal racist notions inform the security and discipline protocols. I remember in Ms. Favale’s class my Freshman year at CCHS in 2002 the former cop who was at that time the schools security officer spoke with the class. Louanne Brown was her name. I remember her bragging about how when she was on the force they would profile “drug dealers” and find any reason to police them and harass them. In the last year ive heard way to many excuses for the murder of people of color by labeling them “drug dealers” or “thugs”. Brown put into place a lot of foundational security protocols for CCHS as former staff have told me. The current security and discipline regime at CCHS rests on a foundation that has carceral racist cornerstones (I’m sure it wasn't just Louanne Brown to be fair) and creates a self fulfilling in the racial disparities we see in discipline and arrests at the school overwhelmingly being directed at black students. Louanne Brown did not need a gun either, it wasn't called for my whole career there. We don't need children policed with guns in our school, it just is not necessary. It's all too often tragic when police are sent to do a social worker’s job.

Thank You,

Luke Herron-Titus

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From: Erin Sagaskie <Erin.Sagaskie@cchs165.com>
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2021 2:35 PM
To: Steve Murphy <Steve.Murphy@cchs165.com>
Cc: Stephanie Dillow <Stephanie.Dillow@cchs165.com>
Subject: Some research supporting SRO's

Hi. I did a little research on my own. I think these are important facts that should be included in the public comments for the board meeting. 

A weakness of the existing studies (on SRO's) is that they often focus on just the presence or absence of school-based law enforcement on campus, not on any other factors that might influence the impact of school-based law enforcement, such as how officers are selected, what roles they have in the school, their training, and the support they receive from the school and police administration (Stern & Petrosino, 2018). 

There is currently very little rigorous evaluative research on the effects — in terms of school safety — of having a police presence in schools (Stern & Petrosino, 2018)

Many of the completed studies are descriptive rather than evaluative and do not report on outcomes. Of those evaluations that do include outcome data, most were not conducted with research designs that are credible in establishing the impact of school-based law enforcement (Fisher & Hennessy, 2016).

References

Fisher, B. W., & Hennessy, E. A. (2016). School resource officers and exclusionary discipline: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Adolescent Research Review, 1, 217–233. doi: 10.1007/s40894-015-0006-8

Stern, A., & Petrosino, A. (2018). What do we know about the effects of school-based law enforcement on school safety? San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Available from https://www.wested.org/resources/ effects-of-school-based-law-enforcement-on-school-safety 

Erin Sagaskie, PhD
Mathematics Teacher
Carbondale Community High School
1301 E. Walnut St.
Carbondale, IL 62901
(618)457-3371, ext. 119

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School Resource Officer
Olivia Rebellon
Wed 4/21/2021 12:50 PM

Dear Board of Education,

My name is Olivia Rebellón, and I am a junior at CCHS. I feel it is important to keep a resource officer at our high school, especially someone like Officer Dillow. Over the past two years, she has kept our school safe and has provided extra help for kids who need it. She has contributed greatly to campus patrol during and after school hours, and has been an outlet for many students - such as myself - to talk and go to in times of trouble or unease.

 Officer Dillow is approachable, kind, patient and communicative with students, and does her job efficiently as both a local police officer and her job at CCHS; it is evident that students more so since she has been hired, have approached her about issues around the school, and even personal issues, making her position even more necessary. The school resource officer in the past has also come into both health and PE classes to talk about self-defense, their involvement in the Carbondale community, and the importance of talking amongst ourselves about school and community issues. It is the resource officer’s job to provide these services as an extra staff member and community protector in the CCHS building –– and it would be a huge mistake for CCHS to get rid of that position, as Officer Dillow has been a great asset to CCHS.

I feel it is also an excellent safety precaution to have a connection to local law enforcement at our school during most hours of the school day. We cannot forget about the gun and weapon threats we have had in the past, much less the school shootings that have been happening recently because school is coming back in session. It would be beneficial for us to have that protection, and also that resource. 

Thank you very much,

Olivia Rebellón

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From: Gayle Klam <g.klam@mchsi.com>
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2021 11:28 AM
To: Steve Murphy <Steve.Murphy@cchs165.com>
Subject: Police in schools

 I believe the schools should keep a police presence in the schools.  Although it may impact some kids more than others, it should make the overall population feel safer.  However, the school should have a school/ community committee actively investigating school incidents and trying to suggest ways to reduce incidents, and help disruptive students.  There also should be a program in the school where the police department actively interacts with students in groups to help them understand how to avoid conflicts.

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From: Janel Taylor <jwtnow@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 12:38 PM
To: Steve Murphy <Steve.Murphy@cchs165.com>
Subject: Police Officer Assigned To CCHS

 April 21, 2021

CCHS Superintendent
CCHS Board Members
Each Persons 
Email Address
RE: Police Officer Assigned To Our High School

Dear CCHS Superintendent:  

If the presence of the officer has reduced incidences of white & of color students requiring in school disciplinary actions and she has been controlled and smart with encounters, it seems to me the Police Officer is useful. 

Thank you for serving our community. 

Sincerely,

Janel Taylor
Carbondale, Illinois