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updated: 3/11/2011 5:48 PM

Grayslake District 127 won't discuss resignations, employee discipline votes

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  • Catherine Finger

      Catherine Finger

  • Bob Susnjara/bsusnjara@dailyherald.comParents Richard Downes, front left, and wife Debbie Downes spoke in support of Grayslake North High School's wrestling coaches during a board meeting Thursday evening.

      Bob Susnjara/bsusnjara@dailyherald.comParents Richard Downes, front left, and wife Debbie Downes spoke in support of Grayslake North High School's wrestling coaches during a board meeting Thursday evening.

 
 

Grayslake High School District 127 board members have accepted resignations and approved employee discipline in two separate public votes, but won't divulge names or details based on legal advice.

The votes came during a Thursday night meeting after board members huddled behind closed doors. Distict officials also refused to comment after some parents and a student at the meeting expressed concern that some wrestling coaches may have been involved in the personnel action.

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After the first cryptic personnel vote, Superintendent Catherine Finger thanked the parents and Grayslake North sophomore Joel Armenta for speaking on behalf of the wrestling coaches.

"Some of you have said you hope to have some of them (rumors) dispelled this evening," Finger told the crowd. "And I'm terribly sorry to tell you, but we're just not able to do that."

Officials didn't specify if the high school staffers in the votes were from Grayslake Central, North or both. Finger declined to provide a breakdown on the number of resignations and disciplinary actions.

Before the board votes, Grayslake North parent Debbie Downes was among the speakers who said she supported that school's wrestling coaches. Downes said she's aware of stories floating through the community.

"We've heard everything from here to Hollywood," said Downes, whose two sons wrestled for Grayslake North this year.

Parent Jack Curtis spoke out to back a Grayslake Central grappling coach. Curtis' son, a senior, wrestled for the school.

"I know there's an issue I just kind of heard about, but I don't know all the details," Curtis said.

In a statement, the district acknowledges "a series of rumors has been generated recently."

Finger said the board's action regarding the resignations will be public within four weeks. She added that parents and students may be able to deduce what happened before that time.

"Really, you just want to pay attention to what you're seeing happening around school and I think your questions will be answered," she said.

Finger said no one was fired at the meeting as part of any "confidential personnel action." She said District 127 consulted with an attorney and is following state law in not immediately revealing the names of the staffers who were involved in the personnel votes.

Attempts to reach the wrestling coaches on their school telephones were unsuccessful Friday.

Most of the spectators left after Finger said they wouldn't receive any details about the school board's public actions. She indicated a desire to move on.

"As a school district, our goal is always to maintain the dignity and privacy of our students and staff members," she said, "and to take the focus of our organization back from the spotlight whenever it veers there and (place it) back on the kids. And that is absolutely what we're doing in this matter."

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