‘Park Forest needs to come out!’ to this Meeting, and More, 227 Board Member Says

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- SD 227 Board member Shelia Friday, a resident of Park Forest, has had it, and she needs Park Forest residents to show up Tuesday, October 8, 2013, for a meeting at Rich South High School. The meeting is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.

eNews Park Forest strongly urges Park Forest residents to attend this meeting.

Board member Friday and two fellow Board members were concerned after the September 30 incident that began at Rich Central with a bomb threat, involved busing the Rich Central students to Rich South, and culminated in student fights, leaving 16 students facing felony charges.

"The meeting agenda was revised to include items that were not relevant," Shelia Friday said.

"Do you have the right, as the Board President, to change the agenda on a special meeting?" Board member Friday asks.

At eNews Park Forest, we’re wondering, can the Board President legally change a request for a meeting, changing the agenda, made by three Board members? It would not be legal in Park Forest, for example, for the Mayor to reject the request of three members of the Village Board for a special meeting.

And it certainly appears there has not been a paucity of Board meetings at SD 227, according to Ms. Friday.

‘From May through the beginning of August, we had 32 board meetings," she says. "At times we’ve had meetings at 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. when they know I’m at work."

Ms. Friday says there have been a number of Saturday meetings as well.

We wonder, is this legal? Has SD 227 correctly notified the public and the media, let alone Board members, of all of these meetings?

In Park Forest, the meeting schedule for each calendar year is voted on and approved each December. That schedule, once official, is then official, public. Members of the public and the media know when the Village Board will meet. Meetings canceled or rescheduled are done so 48 hours in advance, as state law dictates.

Is SD 227 following proper procedure here?

Board members Shelia Friday, Betty Owens and Emmanuel Imoukhuede, appear to question that.

And that should concern all residents of Park Forest, and all residents of SD 227.

Regarding Tuesday’s meeting, Board member Shelia Friday has only six words: "Park Forest needs to come out!"

And we concur.

The text of Board member Shelia Friday’s most recent email to her constituents and the press follows:

The Board of Education was scheduled to have a meeting on Oct. 3rd. However it was canceled by the board president without reason or consultation with the entire board. One may think that it was canceled to prevent the show of public outcry and discontent about the incidents that occurred on September 30th at the Rich Central and Rich South campuses.

After receiving numerous calls from community members, daily coverage by the media, knowledge of a teacher and students being treated at the hospital, and inconsistencies being told about a crisis plan with local law enforcement agencies, holding a special meeting was the most urgent and responsible action the board of education could take. Therefore, members of the board requested a special meeting and submitted the agenda to include the following 4 items:

A. Incident of September 30th at Rich South High School

B. Discussion in regards to the District Crisis Management Plan

C. Public Comment

D. Discussion of and possible motion for the approval of an Independent Investigator

However, it appears that the board president is more concerned in creating a smokescreen by placing items at the top of the agenda that are not relevant to the issue at hand. She has added three additional charges to the former superintendent that are unbeknownst to at least four members of the board of education. It would be appropriate that the entire board of education be made aware of these charges and have discussion with the board attorney prior to making motions of this nature. More so, the board is already scheduled to address the former superintendent’s issues in an upcoming board meeting early in the following week.

It is ironic that on September 23rd, Dr. Morgan requested 3 items be placed on the agenda for October 3rd, and that the board president denied his request, telling him that it would be on the October 15th agenda. However, she took the liberty of adding her items on the agenda of a special board meeting. Really??

Below is the request made for the meeting being held on Tuesday, Oct. 8th at Rich South as well as the initial agenda. The request is very specific in the purpose of the meeting which is  "in an effort to address public concerns about the incident that occurred at Rich South High School on September 30th".

Right now, our priority should be to face our community, review our current crisis plan, and seek an independent investigation about the incidents of Sept. 30th. To hide behind a rouse of any kind is irresponsible and conniving. We must stay focus on the issue at hand. To do otherwise only minimizes the unfortunate incidents of September 30th, and present the board as being inept.

October 4, 2013

Rich Township High School District 227

Special Meeting Request

Date: October 8th, 2013

Time: 7:00pm

Place: Rich South High School

The meeting is being held at the call of three school board members, Mrs. Betty Owens, Mrs. Shelia Friday, and Mr. Emmanuel Imoukhuede.

This meeting is being held in an effort to address public concerns about the incident that occurred at Rich South High School on September 30th. As with all board meetings, the meeting announcement and agenda is to be posted in all district campuses including the district office. The meeting is also to be posted on the school district’s official website.

Furthermore, we are directing that robo calls be made to every parent or guardian in the school district on Monday, October 7th before 2pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Shelia M. Friday
Betty Owens
Emmanuel Imoukhuede

Rich Township District 227
School Board Members


October 4th, 2013

Rich Township High School District 227

Special Meeting Request


Date: October 8th, 2013

Time: 7:00pm

Place: Rich South Auditorium

A. Incident of September 30th at Rich South High School

B. Discussion in regards to the District Crisis Management Plan

C. Public Comment

D. Discussion of and possible motion for the approval of an Independent Investigator