The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 22, 2012

Parents complain about teachers

Student’s mother takes issue with ‘unprofessionalism’

DANVILLE — When District 118 school board member Gina McGuire addressed her fellow board members Wednesday night, she did so as “an angry and outraged parent.”

Following her emotional comments was additional testimony from four more District 118 parents who voiced similar concerns about how some teachers interacted with their children and other students as well as with the parents themselves.

Superintendent Mark Denman vowed to get to the bottom of the parents’ complaints.

“We’re very responsive. We want to hear what parents have to say,” he said. “I guarantee you we will investigate and look into it.

“I will try my very best to solve any problems,” he said. “As in any family, there will be disagreements.”

McGuire took issue with “the unprofessionalism of a staff member” who teaches her son, a Danville High School junior. She claimed the teacher “harassed” her son about a posting she made on a social media site.

“A district employee initiated a conversation with my son, and my son was offended by what he said,” she told board members.

McGuire claimed the teacher tried to detain her son after class and continued to question him.

“He wanted to know my son’s opinion of teachers and what teachers are paid,” she said. “Why would you single out a child and ask him that? He didn’t understand what was going on.

“I am outraged that someone would use tactics on my son to try to find out how I feel about teachers and their salaries,” she added.

The district already has begun contract negotiations with the Danville Education Association. Two years ago, negotiations broke down and teachers were on strike for several days.

McGuire said the teacher requested to also speak with her “about a comment I posted on a public media site.” She said when she went to meet with the teacher, a DEA representative also was present.

“I was there as a parent, not as a board member,” she contended.

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