Parents question school board’s unpopular decision

Local News

MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — It was an emotional night at the Mahomet-Seymour school board meeting as parents and students made one last plea to the board to reverse an unpopular decision.

Courtney Porter used to be the assistant principal at Lincoln Trail Elementary. But in March the school board voted to reassign her to a teaching position. Parents were angry because they weren’t told why.

Late Monday night, parents say the the school board was still in closed session and haven’t made a decision.

Porter and her lawyer said they had no comment because of legal issues. But the almost 80 people who showed up to the meeting to support her had a lot to say.

Tears fell down this former assistant principal’s face as she listened to all the kind words parents said about her. 

“We need more people like Mrs. Porter in our schools.”

“I am confused why a woman of her stature, self respect, gratitude, compassion and heart is having to go through this ordeal of being forced to step down.” 

On March 12, 2018 the school board voted to involuntarily reassign Porter from assistant principal of Lincoln Trail Elementary to a teaching position. 

Michelle Grindley’s daughter goes to that school. She says, “There was no discussion about it at the board meeting. It was just an item on the agenda.” 

People were blindsided and confused because Porter wasn’t fired, just involuntarily reassigned to a different position, and because the board didn’t explain their decision. 

“Has she done something wrong? Has she misspoken in some way? We would all like to know?” 

Porter appealed the board’s decision. Now, a month later they reconvened to reconsider their choice. Sitting beside porter is her lawyer. Surrounding her from wall to wall are parents and students who support her. 

“We’re fired up because we as constituents don’t feel that you our school board are listening to what we want for our children and our district.”  

“She builds relationships with these kids and she is part of the reason why our schools are so great.” 

Current and former students say the same thing. 

Ezra Campbell says, “She was a familiar and warm face to see everyday. We were all pretty comfortable with her.” 

Another young girl who goes to Lincoln Trail said, “She should stay. I love mrs. Porter.” 

The superintendent said the district has no comment on this because it’s a personnel issue.

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