Wednesday, November 3, 2010

District 150 students arrested for fighting in school

Here it is folks - the news you have been waiting for...

Several Peoria High School students were arrested after a lunchtime brawl in the school Wednesday.

The initial fight broke out just after noon. Some of the teens were led away in handcuffs, while others were released to their parents.

Further information is not yet available. Peoria police referred questions to District 150 officials. Source

Actually, I am pleased that these knuckleheads were arrested. Hopefully the other trouble makers will take this as NOTICE that fighting will not be tolerated by the District. Good for you PSD#150PD.

29 comments:

Sharon Crews said...

The next thing the district needs to do is to offer a curriculum that might change the focus of some of these young people--who need to have vocational classes a couple of hours a day to do something constructively "physical"--I believe that could work wonders. Then, for those young people who just can't conform, there just must be an alternative school.
Also, the administration and the board simply must learn to listen to the warning signs--information from teachers that know that all is not well and that these major events that become public knowledge don't just happen all of a sudden--there are "smaller events" that precede these.

Peoria Anti-Pundit said...

Bull, lock them up.

Emerge Peoria said...

I noticed that Dr. Lathan was on the scene when the arrests were happening, that's a good look. Good for the students of District 150 that she is making it clear who run the schools.

Sharon Crews said...

You beat me to it, Emerge; I just came back on the blog to give Dr. Lathan credit for getting to PHS ASAP. I can't think of any other superintendents who would have left Wisconsin Avenue. As a humorous aside, I, also, heard that she got a parking ticket--which was rescinded when the police realized it was her car.

Dennis in Peoria said...

So my question will be that these students caught fighting will be expelled...or suspended for a few days, and sent back into the same rivalry problem? Could criminal charges be brought against them?

Sharon Crews said...

Even if they are expelled, it is usually for just the rest of the semester--that puts them right back in the same situation by January--and that's without any interventions to try to change behaviors, etc. Expulsion just isn't that big a deal--often these young people are failing their classes anyway, so losing a semester is not that serious.
Also, I would be curious to know if any of these young people already have records. If these are gang-related fights (as parents have suggested), then this probably isn't their first brush with the law, so to speak.

Did anyone happen to notice that one of the young men was not following the dress code--his red underwear were showing? The board was so determined that everyone follow the dress code--yet, I am willing to bet that no one has asked teachers how those violations are going. Kids who are angry with the world, each other, etc., aren't going to pay much attention to minor violations such as dress codes.

Sooner or later the district is going to have to realize that the district can't survive without an alternative school. This board must soon realized that they didn't just close a high school--that might well be shutting down a district--at least, all who can will leave.

Manual is enjoying a respite while everyone is focusing on PHS--but does anyone believe that all is calm at Manual?

jim stowell said...

Sharon - A true alternative school has been high on the Boards priorty list for some time. I think it should be county wide for cost synergies - to think we are the only district with problematic student behavior would be wrong. Dr. Lathan knows this and we should begin to see details on a true vocational and alternative school capability fairly soon. Your rants always lack a reaistic funding mechanism. Maybe if voters and students demanded a return to a full work day - not 6.5 hrs for 9 months a year - admin would have enough time to structure a better curriculm with appropriate interventions. We hold admin to year around contracts for a full day - why shouldn't it pertain to everyone? While 99.999% of teachers work well more than 6.5 hrs (as do most all professionals), the district can only structure a schedule around the 6.5 hrs contracted. That's not enough time to educate given the "baggage" kids carry today. Taxpayers tell me we need a longer day and a longer year of vibrant, engaging learning opportunities. I agree. Why don't you do something constructive like leading the charge to get back the full day for students you voted to take away years ago? That might just provide the budget flexibility to do what we need to do. And before you unleash your venom, please just share other taxpayer supported jobs where you can earn near or above six figure pensions and work less than a full day for less than a full year.

Sharon Crews said...

Jim, your rant about the 6.5 hours is getting really old with me. You do your thing and I'll do mine. Are you running for City Council or the school board?

Mahkno said...

I am surprised there is a photo of the kid in cuffs. Isn't there some rules about identifying minors?

Dennis in Peoria said...

If the student shown in the pic is 17 or older, he is not considered a minor, if I am correct.

I thought there was already some type of 'alternative school' within Dist. 150, located on Moss with the Peoria Adult Education Center? Or the center on Knoxville?

Sharon Crews said...

Dennis, neither of those alternative schools are helping situations such as just occurred at PHS. First of all, they have a very limited enrollment. I know things change--but I believe adult ed is on Moss and the alternative school is still on Greeley--I could be wrong.

In agreement with Jeff's comment in the PJS today, I believe (and it may sound harsh at first thought) that students who engage in fighting should automatically go to an alternative school. The length of time to spend there could be debated. Jim, that is "baggage" that doesn't have to be tolerated in the regular schools.

District 150 has to be turned around immediately, not in slow stages. These kids have to get a "new" very definite message that fighting just isn't allowed in school. I am somewhat amused at Shangraw's statement that such behavior won't be tolerated. In varying degrees at various times and locations, it has definitely been tolerated in the district. If the penalties haven't changed, then the behaviors will still be tolerated, especially, if the press doesn't get wind of them.

The penalty of an immediate alternative setting isn't so absurd when one stops to think about how very many students get through high school without ever engaging in a fight on school grounds. 150 would do well to start with these very strict rules--it would be curious to see how many students would change their behaviors when they see the first round of students sent to an alternative school.
Mahkno and Dennis, I was, also, curious about the pictures. It appears that only the 3 girls were "adult" age and were arrested. Therefore, the boys must be juveniles yet pictures did appear in the press.

Anonymous said...

Assult at Columbia yesterday and Manual today.

Anonymous said...

There are alternative schools for students with behavior problems, the Knoxville Transition To Success, and Greeley Safe School. They seem to be dumping grounds for the students and staff the district does not want to deal with. To bad Dr. Lathan and/or Mr. Stowell never spend any time at either of them. With all the security cameras they need not physically go there, of course some of the cameras at Greeley don't work, one for five months or more. What we need is for students and staff to understand the rules of society. And there should be consequences for their actions.

Dennis in Peoria said...

Interesting blog from PJS reporter Dave Haney, who received email from a PHS student, setting the record straight about the fight...and why the fight occurred is not exactly true.

http://blogs.pjstar.com/schooldaze/2010/11/04/on-peoria-high-school-by-a-peoria-high-school-student/

Sharon Crews said...

Dennis in Peoria--I just read the letter, too. Jeff said much the same thing in his comments to PJS. Of course, remember that the student is not exactly the final word on anything--just his point of view. You can say the same for Jeff (however, he doesn't say that much publicly but when he does he is on firm ground--my very biased opinion).

It simply doesn't matter if the fights are Woodruff vs Central related. Parents of the students involved have stated that the fights were gang related--I tend to believe they might have some fairly strong evidence backing their statements, too.

Mixing the gangs (not mixing the Woodruff and Central students) is probably closer to the cause of the fights. Jeff is right--the majority of students are not involved in these conflicts.

There have been and would have continued to be fights at Woodruff and Peoria High and Manual (and some would say Richwoods, also). By doubling the size of PHS, the chances of fights have probably quadrupled. That's where the board made its mistake--putting too many already volatile students into one building.

For those who continue to say that closing a school made financial sense, I say District 150 finds plenty of ways to squander money--closing Woodruff might end up costing the district more than just money.

Sharon Crews said...

Jim or anyone who knows, is this open to the public:
eoria Public Schools
Friday, November 05, 2010 - 11:00 AM
BOE - NOTICE of Possible Quorum
NOTICE IS HERBY GIVEN THAT A MAJORITY OF A QUORUM OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION HAVE BEEN INVITED TO AND MAY ATTEND A MEETING WHERE SCHOOL DISTRICT #150 SUPERINTENDENT, DR. GRENITA LATHAN, WILL DISCUSS HER VISION FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010, AT 11:00 A.M. AT CITY HALL, ROOM 404, 419 FULTON STREET, PEORIA, ILLINOIS.
NO OFFICAL ACTION WILL BE TAKEN BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION AT THIS EVENT.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find this notice? I didn't see it on the district website.

Anonymous said...

I also read the response by Mr. Romanos (?) and the PHS student. After 11 years in D150, I don't feel apologetic about the decision to keep my kids in the district. We've endured smug comments and criticism from "outsiders" for years (those too "rich" or proud to allow their offspring to attend public school). Truth be told, I have no worries about my kids' college readiness. Kudos to D150 teachers! And still, the "outsiders" want to peek at my kid's report card, ISAT, SAT and ACT scores...just to be sure they are getting their money's worth. tee-hee.

Sharon Crews said...

I found the notice under upcoming events on the Whittier section of the District 150 website. I wasn't able to find it under the board of education tab--but I haven't learned how to navigate all the new sites. Anonymous--what response by Mr. Romanos--I haven't seen that yet. You bring up a good point. I always want to clarify my belief that students can receive an excellent education in District 150. Frankly, I believe that the NCLB way of measuring learning is extremely deceiving. The truth is that even the average college-educated person would probably not do all that well on all sections of the ACT test.

Anonymous said...

Sry about the details. Mr. Romanus (sp?) responded to the PJStar School Daze. One of my biggest concerns with NCLB is requiring special needs students to take the same test as non-special needs. I don't work in education, but that just seems to set kids (with special needs) up for failure. Also, I hear the argument for a longer school day/longer school year. However, the teaching profession does not allow the flexibility of most other professions. Teachers can't dash out of school early to catch their child's ballgame, scholastic bowl, or music recital. How do teachers attend parent conferences? Don't get me started on coaches. I don't know what they're paid...but it can't be adequate compensation for the time or sacrifice involved.

Sharon Crews said...

Anonymous--I couldn't agree more about special needs kids. There is nothing fair about judging a school's success or failure when it has a high percentage (or even low) of special needs students. Also, it isn't fair to put these students through such a grueling exercise in futility.

I am glad you understand the lack of flexibility in a teacher's schedule. Jim Stowell and I have gone round and round on this subject. Jim's job allows him to roam the city freely at all hours of the day visiting schools, etc. He doesn't understand the confining aspect of teaching--and that 6.5 straight hours of teaching is non-stop working. He, also, believes that teaching improves if teachers sit in professional development meetings for an hour every day. Jim has had freedom in his job for many years; I have a feeling if he had to be in a classroom for 6 hours (maybe even 3), he'd be ready for the funny farm. What he, also, doesn't admit is that the administrators who are usually paid far more than teachers do not have that confining aspect to their jobs. They are free to visit with one another around the water cooler, etc.--just visit the board members to observe that behavior or go to the offices of school administrators, etc. I don't think you will see non-stop working (except for the secretaries); at least, I never did.

Anonymous said...

I think this notice is a bad joke. There is no way "herby" and "offical" could be mispelled, in two consecutive news releases.

Sharon Crews said...

I noticed the misspellings, also--however, why would it be on the Whittier web page?

Sharon Crews said...

There is a link to this event on the district calendar on the website.

Sharon Crews said...

Comments on today's event at City Hall and the usual invitation to everyone:
District Watch will meet as usual at Monical's on Lake and Knoxville at 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 7.
The board is going to vote on the staggered graduation schedule for June 4 but there is no mention of where the graduations will be held.
I went to Dr. Lathan's event at City Hall. It was meant primarily for city employees, but it was a public event because board members were invited--but none showed. I found it to be very enlightening. After discussing her vision for the future and what is going on right now in preparation for that vision, Dr. Lathan took questions from many of us. She was very candid, pleasant, etc.,--I was impressed.

I don't understand, however,why this information has not been discussed at a District 150 event--preferably at a board meeting.

Dennis in Peoria said...

I was also at Dr. Lathan's event at City Hall (finally had the pleasure of meeting Sharon face-to-face), shot video of her remarks. Here is a link to the 1st 15 minutes of it. This and the rest will be broadcast on CAPtions, Sunday, Nov. 14th 5 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 17th 7 pm & later at Midnight on Comcast Cable 22.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw9ENwIycyw

Sharon Crews said...

Yes, it is fun to put faces to bloggers whose views on various subjects are more familiar to us than those of our closest friends. I know that the blog world has brought me into contact with a good number of people to add to my circle of valued acquaintances--Dennis, you are among them. I am glad that you will be airing this event--I highly recommend it.

Frustrated said...

Dennis - Watched the video. So helpful in getting a feel for Dr. Lathan, beyond just what she says.

Like your ideas. So many new things. I would hope that she rolls them out bit by bit, so there is really some depth to each program she adds or modifies.

Frustrated said...

Thanks for the post Dennis. I enjoy seeing Dr. Lathan in action.