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July 22, 2024

Decatur School Board Meeting: Speaker accosted, demands for resignations –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On February 26, 2020

Decatur, IL. (ECWd) –

Public comment during Decatur Public School’s February 25, 2020, board meeting saw the school district’s attorney lay his hands on a speaker, shake his finger at him, and ask he not mention names.

There was apparently an incident at one of the schools where a substitute teacher accosted a student or students, then later those students were asked to change their story about what happened.

Later, members of the Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants read and delivered a petition packet asking for the resignation of the school board president and other board members. This petition was signed by more than 600 people.

DPS61 has allegedly failed to negotiate in good faith with the Union and even terminated their health insurance coverage when they went on strike late last year.

Common with other school boards in Illinois, we see DPS61 attempting to prohibit naming board members or staff during public comment. These attempts at censoring speech are violations of the Open Meetings Act.

This attorney appears to be overstepping his “authority” thru intimidation, physical force, and admonishment of speakers. It is time for this district to hire a new attorney.

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  • Dave
    Posted at 13:36h, 26 February Reply

    Out of a town of 70,000…. 600 signature is nothing. The attorney should be replaced for trying to edit free speech. No one cares what liars Bernie Sanders and Warren think, its irrelevant. One could also say the union allowed the strike to happen by not signing the contract

  • Michael Hagberg
    Posted at 14:43h, 26 February Reply

    Thank you for your effort to post these videos.

    At first I was thinking their attorney needs to be properly trained in the Open Meetings Act. But, he then spoke and made it very evident that he understands the law and he himself (with what may have been a suggestion from a lady who spoke off microphone) decided to violate the OMA by interrupting a speaker and requesting the speaker refrain from freely speaking to the board members during public participation.

  • Paul K.
    Posted at 19:07h, 26 February Reply

    Indeed, “Brian” exampled the public comment with or without the eight second simulcast delay poorly. Apples to apples.

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