Parent concerns on safety brought to school board


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A student was hurt at Dr. Howard Elementary School and a week later, questions sill linger for parents about their kids’ safety.

On Monday night, those concerns were brought directly to the school board. This story has received a lot of attention on social media, but parents haven’t received answers about what, if anything, is being done to protect kids and stop this from happening again.

Last week a 10-year-old was hurt during what the district says was a “play fight” with five other kids. The student involved in the accident has more than a dozen stitches after police say she was cut on a bathroom stall lock.

The same parents who were at the PTA meeting last week came to the school board meeting Monday night to ask the board the same questions they’ve been wondering since it happened.

District representatives say there was a lapse in school policy. It’s a rule that only two students are allowed in the bathroom at a time and they’re supposed to be supervised. The district told parents at the PTA meeting they would put stricter enforcement on that policy. The principal also said he would be open to creating a task force to address the problem and come up with solutions.

Parents say there hasn’t been any further communication from the school about the issue, leaving them with unanswered questions.

Andrea Murphy addressed the board at public comment saying, “Our school has so much love to give and dedication but it just seems like it needs a lot of help. What is the plan? The incident exploded locally. Instead of furthering our goal of integrating people and families of all backgrounds this is sending the message of a school without control over the issues that’s happening inside their school.”

She was the only parent who spoke at the meeting. The school board did not respond public comment directly. WCIA reached out to the principal at Dr. Howard, the district, and the school board. None of them responded to questions about how this issue is being addressed.

Police finished the investigation on Friday. They say there was no weapon and they do not believe there was any criminal intent or bullying involved.

The family of the girl who was hurt is not happy with the district or police’s explanation. They said they would be talking to a lawyer to make sure nothing was missed during the investigation.

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