District 300 Board Member Apologizes for Profanity

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 District 300 Board meeting. Photo Credit: First Electric Newspaper.

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.”


District 300 Board Member Apologizes for Profanity — 8 Comments

  1. Will the D-300 board and administrators keep blowing money by keeping a full-time publicity agent on the payroll?

    Wasnt’ she a Northwest Herald reporter during the last tax increase referendum before, surprise!, getting a much higher paying job in D-300?

  2. People are human and say socially “Gasp!” words. While it’s not preferred, it is common in our world with rare exception.

    Heck, I recall our current Vice President saying something pretty crude right next to our current President’s ear…….on an open microphone.

    A lot of our children and teens do this kind of stuff every day. So do a lot of their adult relatives.

    Frankly, it matters more to me that she uses common sense than worrying about whether she’s holding her cup with her pinky in the air while speaking delicate words.

  3. For Dee. Pointing to others wrongs never makes it right. Really sad that you make excuses for all.

  4. It’s how she used the profanity that should be addressed – referring to our kids as “littlr f—ers” tells more of the caliber of the board member then her ignoring the meeting by texting. The audio is all over the internet – I suggest you listen for yourself. There’s some good people at D300 – she isn’t one of them!

  5. Monica Clark walked out of the board meeting after a student pointed out that she was not paying attention during the public comments. She was goofing around on her PDA. When the student called attention to this, she walked out of the meeting. Great job Monica Clark. Way to show the audience, many were high school students, how much you care about what is going on.

    I agree with the position the board too, but have some respect for the people who elected you!

  6. Sorry Ms. Clark, an apology won’t suffice. Start drafting that letter of resignation. That is the only acceptable act.

  7. 1) The profanity completely unmasked Monica’s standards as a professional.

    2) You can always tell a seasoned politician, when a constituent comes to them to voice concerns, they either ignore you or force their opinion on you, there is no debate. Monica, you gave those students a civics lesson that no teacher or lesson plan will ever be able to correct. You represent the model of what not to be for any elected official. Also, as part of what is wrong with education today, you missed the opportunity to teach. Hope you have more time to text message after the election.

  8. Frankly, I am not opposed to the result of the vote. There is arguably an imbalance between the power of teachers’ unions and school districts.

    The disconcerting thing here is this Board member’s apparent lack of judgment and self control in a situation where she had apparently already decided what her vote was going to be. The lack of judgment is to be texting (or otherwise fooling) on her PDA during what appears to be a pretty passion filled meeting. Good judgment would have been to show by her actions an increment of respect to the people whose concerns she is supposed to be paying attention to during the meeting. Texting sends entirely the opposite message.

    The subsequent use of profanity is a lack of self control. Fine to be ticked off for getting “called out,” but to get vitriolic about it is rather distressing.

    As I tell my own teens, don’t text or say anything you would not want the world to read about you on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper. (Or for their generation, at the top of the Drudge Report. . . )

    Disappointing all the way around.

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