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June 25, 2024

OP case involving teacher could shed light on some of the problems Mattoon schools face –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 18, 2017

COLES CO., IL. – Disclosure News Online

UDPATED article with court records (click here).

There are definite problems within Illinois school districts…and something that’s happened with a science teacher at Mattoon High School underscores this.

Further, the situation as it stands with a huge number of kids being bullied within Mattoon Schools might have an underlying explanation that begins with this specific matter and what’s evidenced in it…because the school district has kept on a teacher who, court documents show, is a bully in her own right.

It all revolves around science teacher Deanna Lynn Helms MacDonald, 44.

MacDonald had been married for 17 years to Matt MacDonald before they were divorced in February of 2014. The MacDonalds had separated in 2013, and in September of that year Matt began dating a woman named Alissa, whom he eventually married.

On July 16, 2015, Matt filed a petition for an order of protection against his ex. He listed in his petition allegations that she had been sending him threatening and harassing emails; acted in a threatening and harassing manner during visitation exchanges of their three children; appeared uninvited at his home; yelled and screamed obscenities at him and family members; and made obscene gestures toward him and family members.

Additionally, Matt alleged that his ex had been physically, emotionally and mentally abusive during their marriage; and over the past few months her aggression and threatening manner had escalated, and he felt unsafe.

The judge who heard the petition ordered, on July 27, 2015, the following, not in the OP case, but in the divorce case: That neither party shall contact each other at their place of employment except for emergencies, and only relating to the children. They were prohibited from going to the other person’s employment or residence, unless it’s to pick up or drop off the children, or by invitation (through email only) due to a change in the pickup/dropoff times.

Apparently, the judge believed that would be enough to stop whatever behavior was prompting the necessity for the OP. That wasn’t to be the case.

On Sept. 21, 2015, Matt filed a petition for leave to add his new wife Alissa as a protected person on the petition, as they’d been married August 9, 2015. She was, he claimed, a “necessary party” because she resided in the same household as Matt…and she’d received threats and intimidation from Deanna.

With the OP still pending and going through court hearings, on October 23, 2105, Judge James Glenn allowed the motion to include MacDonald’s new wife, but the final decision on the OP was still dragging through the court, as well as the pending post-divorce matters.

Across the many hearings held on the OP, testimony showed that Deanna was abusive to Matt during their marriage in that she had hit, kicked and punched him, thrown things at him, had pulled knives out, had tried to run him over with the car, and during the marriage had told him she “thought every day of different ways to make his life miserable” and “couldn’t wait for the fire department to show up to tell her he’d been killed in a fire.” Matt added that almost . . . continue reading at Disclosure News Online (CLICK HERE)


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  • Sgt. Jack Webb - (LAPD Ret.)
    Posted at 20:24h, 18 October Reply

    That’s a harrowing account of abhorrent and volatile behavior. I find myself asking why there was no finding of violation of the OP. Of course, though compelling, it’s just one side of the story, even with the petitioner’s family providing statements / testimony. What did she have to say about all of that? However, after saying this, I still didn’t see any indication that she was ever found in violation of the OP…or outright hunted down and arrested based on probable cause by police for Disorderly Conduct, Intimidation, etc. Regardless of the Appellate Courts remanding, allegations in an OP petition are just that – allegations. He said – she said. Absent all of that, I see no mechanism for the school district to take ANY action against her or to even require a mental health evaluation…unless she exhibited similar behavior in course of employment. And, there is no evidence of such behavior presented. The school district gets a pass on this one…unless other info comes to light.

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 22:13h, 18 October Reply

    All indications are the judge REFUSES to see anything wrong with anything this woman has done. There is a LOT more to this story and it reads as judicial misconduct.

    • Misty
      Posted at 12:09h, 19 October Reply

      Where are you getting your information that makes you say there is “a LOT more to the story”?? I truly hope it’s a credible source considering you are completely putting all this information out there, 100% public and making her life miserable right now!!

  • A Concerned Student
    Posted at 22:35h, 18 October Reply

    As a Mattoon student who was in the building when the shooting occurred I find this abhorrent. Instead of analyzing the current bullying situation in Illinois schools you have singled out a single teacher for what seems to be a personal vendetta. As a student who has had Mrs. East in class I find this article’s purpose completely fabricated. Never once did I see any hint of misconduct or bullying that you are describing. Never have I even heard of the details of the story you just described. A teacher’s personal and professional life should be kept seperate, as should any job. Then you directly contradict yourself by stating, “They’re acting out what they’re shown. When a kid sees an adult behaving badly, and there’s no corresponding recourse for the behavior, the kid sees it and imitates it, consciously or subconsciously.” If Mrs. East never brought her personal life into the classroom, this “bullying”, then how would the students imitate these actions? Moreover it is a pity that you are taking advantage of the situation. Seeing as you had no credible evidence towards proving Mrs. East influence into the school shooting, you decided to take advantage of our recent shooting to publicize your vendetta towards Mrs. East by tying it to shooting, by any means necessary. It’s a shame to use a tragedy for your own means. This article seems to be nothing but a poor attempt at Click-Bait and should be dismissed as such.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 22:43h, 18 October Reply

      Nothing in what was posted on this site on this article linked anything to the shooting.

      • Cvad
        Posted at 22:49h, 18 October Reply

        Can you not read your own writing? Read the second paragraph.

        • jmkraft
          Posted at 22:52h, 18 October Reply

          Just read it…again…and it says nothing about the shooting.

          • Cvad
            Posted at 23:00h, 18 October

            It’s implied. And what about the third one from the bottom? Where it says,
            “there is a distinct problem with bullying in the schools in Mattoon, one so bad that a child is being charged with bringing a weapon to school and firing it at the people who’ve been bullying him.”

          • A Concerned Student
            Posted at 23:12h, 18 October

            In your second to last paragraph, “A child is being charged with bringing a weapon to school and firing it at the people who’ve been bullying him”

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 07:28h, 19 October

            You must be confused. It does not say that on this site. I think you are reading the article on Disclosure News Magazine and trying to say it is on this site. I linked to it because it concerns Mattoon and the issue of bullying, which seams to be a hot topic these days.

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