A press release from District 300:
Response to concerns about Board member’s comments
During the District 300 Board of Education meeting held on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, one of the Board members used profanity, which was picked up by the District’s digital recording system.
Some community members have expressed concern about the incident, and District leaders share their concern.
The use of profanity is not tolerated in any of the content or communications that we post to our website, our social media pages (Facebook/Twitter), or our publications.
We would not tolerate or publish this type of language by anyone, including students, staff members, parents, or Board members.
We edited out the profane language and re-posted the rest of the recording to the website.
The unedited recording still exists and is being maintained as a public record, in accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
A question has arisen whether the vote taken by the Board that evening is affected by this incident.
The use of profane language, while unfortunate, is not illegal, and it does not nullify the outcome of the vote by the Board.
Board members are not staff members.
They are not hired or fired in the traditional sense.
They are unpaid volunteers who are elected by the community. The next District 300 Board election is on April 5, 2011.
The Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) does not require school districts to record their public meetings.
The only record the OMA requires of a public meeting is a summary/overview in the form of written minutes, which must be approved by the Board and published in a timely manner.
The fact that D300 leaders record our public Board meetings and began posting them to the D300 website in January goes well above and beyond what the law requires.
These recordings are posted on the D300 website as a public service, as part of the District’s ongoing efforts to make it easy for staff and community members to be involved and informed. D300 has been recognized at the state level and the national level for being leaders in public access and for exceeding the requirements of both the OMA and FOIA, as demonstrated by our ground-breaking FOIA webpage.
Board Member Monica Clark apologized for the incident.
“I completely regret my use of profanity at the Board meeting,” Clark said.
“I should have used better judgment in reacting to all of the comments that were being directed at me that night.
“I sincerely apologize for the stress that my use of profanity has caused my family, the school district and the community.
“This incident has unfortunately distracted from the very serious issues that our community continues to face regarding the financial health of our school district.”