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Lanphier High School

1300 North 11th Street
Springfield, IL 62702

Town Hall Meeting

October 14, 2009

Thank you for the terrific turnout for Lanphier's first Town Hall meeting on Thursday, October 8, 2009. Your attendance was greatly appreciated. Many comments and questions were generated during this process. It was the intention to get all of the questions and comments posted to the Lanphier web site by today. We are still in the process of completing this task. We will continue to post over the next few days until we have everything posted. Thank you.

1. Stop all the transfers and keep kids in their own boundaries. kids should go to school in their own neighborhoods.

2. Strict enforcement of the rules. Some kids have no "home" rules. Therefore, the rules in school should be followed to the letter. Enforce the "no sag" policy!!!

3. People are moving away from the north end because of LHS.

4. Q.- Discipline - Why is it different for Special Ed?
A.- The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is the primary law governing students who receive special education services. Federal regulations interpret what school districts can and cannot do to remain in compliance with IDEA. The law requires that students’ disabilities be taken into account in the discipline decision-making process. We have a limited number of days in which a student with a IEP can be suspended from school.

5. Q.- What is the true enrollment number? Be exact please.
A.- The enrollment on the 6th day of school was 1,368. Our current enrollment is 1,317.

6. Q.- Does the District/Principal/School Board know what the word "expelled" means?
A.- An expulsion is the removal of a student from school for more than 10 days in a row. When a student is expelled, he/she will usually first be suspended for up to 10 days. State law requires a one-year expulsion of a student who brings a gun, knife, brass knuckles, billy clubs or other weapon to school or to a school event. Also, state law requires a one-year expulsion of a student who uses or attempts to use an object to cause bodily harm, including but not limited to, knives, brass knuckles, or billy clubs, or ‘look alikes’ of any of these weapons. However, on a case-by-case basis, the superintendent or the school board may decide to expel the student for more or less time.

7. I still believe in LHS! As an alum (15years) and the mother of a 10th grade, honor roll student, I know in my heart that LHS is an excellent School. It's too bad that the recent negativity is taking place. Go Lions!!!

8. Q.- Is the behavior we are now seeing at the high school level a result of the lack of the discipline at the middle school level over the past five years?
A. - The behavior issues we are now seeing and have been seeing is a result of a combination of factors. We have angry students that lack conflict resolution skills, social skills other than their focus on Face Book and Myspace. They have negative experiences in their communities and bring it to school in hopes that someone will help them. Research supports that our
students do things for one of two reasons, to get something or to get out of something.

9. Dr. Milton stressed some very important words please speak directly to the students in some manner.

10. Q.- What are your procedures when a threat is made of a shooting?
A.- If a student makes a threat and school personnel hears it or are told of it we immediately locate and talk to the student, contact the family, notify our school resource officer, have student arrested, check lockers and personal belongings, do a risk and threat assessment by trained professionals, the student is suspended and expulsion is possible pending the out come of the risk assessment. Please keep in mind that several of the above mentioned actions may be taking place simultaneously.

11. Starts at lower grade level to address the issues we are addressing today. Review Alternative Ed quarterly to success or where improvement is needed.

12. I'm single mother of two sons who attend LHS and a 1990 graduate of LHS. I've dealt with both ends of education at Lanphier. My son is a part of the problems that are occurring at Lanphier; however, I am a active, concerned parent. My attendance here is my cry for help. No, I don't want my child in alternative school. Nevertheless, I don't want him in the prison system. My son has several problems that stem from him protecting himself. If parents stick together this problem will be easy to solve. I'm ready to do my part.

13. Q.- Why were students that were in alternative school last year allowed back to Lanphier this school year?
A. - These students were given an opportunity to start fresh in their home school. Criteria for success in alternative education is being reviewed and updated by alternative education personnel and support services.

14. Those children who cannot learn at their level don't need to be tossed away, but given extra help. Teachers failed prior to have someone here who cannot learn at their level.

15a. ID' are only a few years old- this year the kids only had to "have" an ID not "wear" an ID. Last year - no cell phones, this year- only after school in designated areas... Here's what we're communicating- if kids fight us long enough, we'll give in.
b. If we construct an alternative school where kids go and stay any kid who exhibits defiance of school rules, we wouldn't need a new regular high school- then our numbers in each high school would be appropriate and manageable.
c. Common confusion... Every student has the right to an education, but not every student's behavior has to be tolerated.

16. Q.- Where is the principal during lunch hour? Fights are going on in the commons.
A.- All administrative staff, security, school resource officer (SRO) and some teachers are supervising lunch shifts. They rotate locations. Not everyone is in the commons some are in the cafeteria or outside as well. This is the same for breakfast.

17. I’m a former student from LHS, I come in to LHS every other day of the week. I believe Mrs. Boozer and her administration team are doing an EXCELLENT JOB. I witness their hard work everyday.

18. The principal should make herself known to the students on a daily basis. Maybe she should be placed in a different position in the district; one which she is qualified for. I don’t understand how a principal could not know how many students had been arrested! But saying 44 out of 1400 isn’t too bad! My God 1 is too many.

19. Q.- How many incidents resulted in the 44 arrests?
A. – We have to get the police reports because not all 44 arrests happened at Lanphier or during school hours or were Lanphier students. Some of the arrests were for fights, mob action, resisting arrest, loitering, and drug possession.
Q. – Were any of the students arrested involved in previous incidents/arrests?
A. – Some of them yes and some of them no.
Q.- Are the students who were fighting/arrested allowed to return to school?
A. Some were allowed and others were not allowed. It depended upon the reason for the arrest or the severity of the fight.
Q.- How is allowing repeat trouble makers back in school not a violation of the anti bullying/intimidation/harassment policies?
A.- Repeat trouble makers are taken through a process called District Student Review and recommendations for intervention or alternative placement is discussed and decided during this time. It is required by law to make sure each student is granted due process.

20. There seems to be a concerted effort to badly publicize LHS. Could this be because the powers that be want to downsize or eliminate LHS and build their shiny new high school on the west side. What better way to do it than to have everyone believe LHS is unsafe?