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May 20, 2024

Jasper Co. School Board violates their own policy, use targeted bullying –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 27, 2017


This school board censured and punished a fellow board member in violation of state law, federal civil rights (of the member and of the voters), and board policy.

“Censure” is not found in the school code. Illinois is a Dillon’s Rule state, which means a public body only has the powers given to it by the legislature. School Boards, among other public bodies, were never given the power of censure. That said, “censure” is merely a statement by the board that it does not, or did not, approve of an action by the member being censured. No punishment is involved, only a strong indication of disapproval. This board took censure to another level by targeting the board member for ridicule, embarrassment, and the withholding of resources.

This alleged punishment indiscriminately doled out by the school board is illegal and has all the signs of workplace bullying of the targeted board member. Workplace bullying (which is not illegal) is described as (info obtained from “

·         Is driven by perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual(s).
·         Is initiated by bullies who choose their targets, timing, location, and methods.
·         Is a set of acts of commission (doing things to others) or omission (withholding resources from others)
·         Requires consequences for the targeted individual
·         Escalates to involve others who side with the bully, either voluntarily or through coercion.
·         Undermines legitimate business interests when bullies’ personal agendas take precedence over work itself.
·         Is akin to domestic violence at work, where the abuser is on the payroll.

Several board members expressed the clear indication this action of theirs is nothing more than their way to get back at him, and to try to get him to resign. They [the board members] NEED TO CONTROL him – They CHOOSE THEIR METHODS – They use a set of OMISSIONS (Withholding resources from him) – Consequences for the targeted member are real – They get others to join in the bullying AND bullying others who may not think the way they do [like making a 911 call and lying about what happened] – it UNDERMINES the legitimate business interests of the board – their personal agenda of punishing the targeted board member into infinity is taking precedence over the work of the board. NEVERENDING punishment that cannot be legally doled out is workplace bullying.

What does the Jasper County School Board policy say they can do to a Board Member who they believe willfully failed to perform his or her duties?

Policy 2:60 – Board Member Removal From Office

Board Member Removal from Office
If a majority of the Board determines that a Board member has willfully failed to perform his or her official duties, it may request the Regional Superintendent to remove such member from office.

That’s right, their sole recourse is to request the Regional Superintendent to remove the member from office (which they did ask). There is nothing else they can do. And with the history of this particular regional superintendent’s alleged illegal and felonious use of public credit cards (read it here), I doubt he would open that can of worms.

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  • NA
    Posted at 16:17h, 27 December

    Interesting. Similar lawsuits have been dismissed.

    Seeing as how Jed violated the Il Student Records Act maybe the judge will side with board.

    Ever heard of this case?


    Here is the link from your other comment:

    There have been changes in the laws since this case has been “settled out of court” – according to the first link you posted above. One important change is a statutory right to closed session recordings and minutes. This is not a precedent setting case, and higher courts have already ruled otherwise.

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 18:04h, 27 December

      Might do you well to review current law as the OMA was changed to give board members access to closed session records, which is one of the issues in the case you presented. The other issue does not apply in this case as the Board member is not seeking FERPA protected records.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 18:17h, 27 December

      What part of the Il Student Records Act did he violate?
      Which section/paragraph?
      If, he did violate it, what are the statutory consequences of the violation?

      In the settlement, the Board agreed that “board members will not be denied access in the future for similar records.” Kind of says it all right there…