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Union: West Carroll schools superintendent placed on administrative leave amid controversy

The teacher's union calls the district in "crisis" while accusing the superintendent of downfalls like lack of communication, support and constant conflict.

SAVANNA, Ill. — There is fallout after some ongoing criticism surrounding the West Carroll School District.

Superintendent Julie Katzenberger is on paid administrative leave, according to the West Carroll Education Association teacher's union.

This follows allegations of a slew of issues at West Carroll High School.

"The high school is completely out of control," a parent who wanted to remain anonymous told News 8. "I am so sad for our kids because they're missing out on their education."

Two discussions center around the district that involves a potential school closure leading to consolidation and the other alleges leadership issues.

"Parents are coming in, taking kids out," a student said.

"We've had a steady decline in enrollment," West Carroll middle school basketball coach Reid Law said. "There has not been one year that the enrollment has balanced."

A statement by the teacher's union says the district is in "crisis." It accuses Katzenberger of downfalls like lack of communication, support and constant conflict.

"Our district is falling apart," a parent said.

"Last week we had a teacher yell at a student," a student said.

A parent also told News 8 that teacher harassment and harmful behaviors are some of what students are facing in class.

"A lot of them, they just can't focus in class because the behavior is out of control," a parent said.

The union said there have been more than a half-dozen administrators who have left the high school since the start of the school year. The most recent principal quit this week.

"It's ridiculous, there's no point for all of this to be going down," a student said.

"We have been looking to move off the district because our kids deserve better," a parent said.

"Right now we're at a crossroads in our district," Law said.

The superintendent is on paid leave until Wednesday. News 8 reached out to the district for comment but has not heard back.

Below is the full statement by West Carroll Education Association in response to the administrative leave decision:

“We applaud the District 314 School Board for taking a strong first step towards addressing our immediate crisis last night. We are hopeful the board will continue to move in the right direction after the West Carroll Education Association (WCEA) meets with the school board at our meeting on Wednesday night. The WCEA does not take this situation lightly. We believe, in order to overcome the current toxic working and learning conditions, the district will need to dedicate time, resources and support for students, parents and staff so we can all move past this crisis together.” - Co-Presidents Kris Yingling and Jeff Holley

Watch previous coverage of this story on News 8's YouTube channel

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