CENTERBURG — Public participation was a large part of Monday’s meeting of the Centerburg Board of Education. About a dozen parents were in attendance to protest what they called bullying and emotional abuse rampant in the fifth grade. They raised concerns about safety, discussed bullying perpetrated by other students and said teachers are consistently mistreating students by being insensitive and too rigid with regard to the disciplinary system. The parents talked at length about their children’s experiences in the fifth grade.
“Detentions are being handed out willy nilly,” one parent said, “and the parents often aren’t even notified.”
“We don’t want to see other kids go through this,” another parent added as she asked the board for advice.
A handful of the parents said they plan to either enroll their children in another school or homeschool them for their fifth-grade year.
Superintendent Mike Hebenthal said it would be desirable to improve the communication between teachers and parents, and suggested having a parent/teacher meeting before the start of the new school year. School board president Lynn McCann said the board would take the matter under advisement and would encourage the administration to do what it can to ensure behavioral expectations are clearly communicated to all concerned.
The board voted to place a renewal tax levy on the Nov. 6 ballot. Revenue generated from the five-year, 1.5-mill levy will be used for permanent improvements such as parking lot repair and building repair and maintenance. Home owners currently pay $21 a year for a home valued at $100,000.