District 161 slates Thursday forum on school discipline

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District 161 slates Thursday forum on school discipline

June 22, 2015 - 10:47
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Flossmoor School District 161 is hosting a town hall meeting on discipline Thursday, June 25, at the district administration center, 41 E. Elmwood Drive, Chicago Heights. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

According to a notice on the district website, speakers “will be on hand to present information regarding best practices in school discipline.” Community members will have the opportunity to discuss and provide input regarding discipline expectations throughout the school district.

Speakers include District 161 Superintendent Craig Doster, Serena Hills School Principal Shari Demitrowicz, school board attorney John Fester and Ambrose Panico, the author of “Behave Yourself,” a book that focuses on how students can be active participants in the behavior change process.

Panico is a veteran educator who has been a teacher, coach, dean, principal, state due process hearing officer and central office administrator. He began his career as a teacher in a Chicago Public Schools behavior disorders classroom and is assistant director of the Exceptional Children Have Opportunities (ECHO) Joint Agreement in South Holland.

Discipline has been in the spotlight in District 161 since a May 27 fight at Parker Junior High School gathered a great deal of attention. The fight, between two boys at the bus pickup area following dismissal, was reported in the H-F Chronicle and other Chicago news outlets, some of which showed a video of the altercation. The Flossmoor Police Department is investigating the incident.

One of the boys received hospital care for possible brain trauma following the fight. The boy’s mother told the District 161 school board on June 8 that her son suffered serious injuries and that she and her husband felt the district did little to share information on the situation with them.

Doster said at that meeting that District 161 planned to hold a community-wide forum on discipline but that a date for the session had not yet been set.

District 161 is asking that persons interested in attending the forum RSVP to Cathy Perino at the administration center at 708-647-7030 or [email protected].