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Staff, parents raise concerns over issues at West Carroll High School

Union officials say it comes after losing staff, principals and students following a lack of leadership support and addressing school-related concerns.

SAVANNA, Ill. — West Carroll High School is facing a slew of challenges after staff says it's under a crisis environment. 

The West Carroll Education Association union representing teachers said the issues have increased in a matter of weeks.

Union officials said it comes after losing staff, principals and students following a lack of leadership support and addressing school-related concerns. 

Some families reached out to News 8 citing a number of inappropriate actions, including physical and verbal, from staff members toward students.

Students who talked with News 8 said this has created a lot of uncertainty.

"It's chaotic and a lot of students are stressing out, they're leaving the school," a student said. "It's too much stress on them."

"My daughter has just been having issue after issue," a mother who wanted to remain anonymous told News 8. "As far as my child, if it doesn't get worked out here in a little while, I don't know. Maybe go to Easton Valley, I'm not sure."

The union aims its frustration at the West Carroll School District superintendent Julie Katzenberger, in a press release outlined below:

  • Superintendent Katzenberger not keeping parents in the loop about student issues. 
  • Superintendent Katzenberger regularly rejecting input from staff members when it comes to addressing students and school issues.
  • Loss of professional staff, support staff, and building administrators due to micromanaging and constant conflict with Superintendent Katzenberger, which shows the district is struggling to attract and retain top-quality educators for our students.
  • Teachers fearing retaliation from Superintendent Katzenberger for bringing up concerns at board meetings or to board members.

News 8 was not able to reach Katzenberger in response to the allegations. Community members tried asking the West Carroll School District school board about the issues at a town hall meeting Thursday, but they were told to stick to the subject of the school consolidation. 

A statement was later released by  West Carroll Education Association Co-Presidents Kris Yingling and Jeff Holley:

“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.”

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