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MCHS board talks walk-out, roll-out protests

School will stick to attendance policy for proposed April 20 event

Superintendent Pat Halloran said the district should receive almost $200,000 more in General State Aid after the new state funding formula, but also noted the district was still waiting on payments from last year at Monday's school board meeting.
Superintendent Pat Halloran said the district should receive almost $200,000 more in General State Aid after the new state funding formula, but also noted the district was still waiting on payments from last year at Monday's school board meeting.

MORRIS – Recent protests dominated the Monday board meeting for Morris Community High School District 101. On the heels of the National Walk Out Day, which saw about 250 MCHS students walk to the gymnasium, Principal Kelly Hussey informed the board that the event had gone well.

“We were happy the students wanted to have more of a celebration,” Hussey said. Because the event’s date and time were known and publicized nationally, students and faculty had agreed it was best to stay indoors for safety’s sake.

Another event is scheduled for later in April, however. Hussey informed the board of a nation “roll out” day planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20. Hussey said that regular attendance policy will apply to that event, and students wishing to participate will need to have their parents call them out of school for the time they miss.

“Our stance is going to be that we’ll send information to parents,” he said. “Parents will have to make the decision as opposed to us.”

Board member Lynn Vermillion wanted to make sure students were having the right discussions around the walk-outs and that the walk-outs were being handled correctly.

“I would personally like us to not to see us plan things that day to accommodate those walking out,” she said.
“I think it’s disrespectful to them. If they want to walk out, then they should walk out on something. And it’s disrespectful to the students that remain to do their work.”

Vermillion also asked if the kids were being educated on the issue.

“Is anyone asking them ‘What are you really doing? Why are you walking out?’” she asked. “I’d really like to know what these kids think it’s about.”

Hussey said the only class where that discussion can really take place during school is in social studies classes, or maybe English.

In other business, Superintendent Pat Halloran said that the new funding formula for schools has been completed and that MCHS should receive $197,000 more this year in General State Aid because of it. He also said that the district was still waiting for a payment from last school year.

With the demise of the Rock Island Clean Line project, the school board approved a termination letter that would end the deal between the project and the school district for property tax abatement.

Honors night is scheduled for May 16, with MCHS alumna Tara Stiles as speaker.

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