H-F administrators tell student she can walk across stage at graduation

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School board of education tried Thursday to dispel misinformation being spread through social media regarding the recent dismissal of Principal Ryan Pitcock.

At its special meeting to hear from the public about its decision to dismiss Pitcock, four specific rumors were addressed by Richard Lites, president of the school board.

He called it “misinformation that’s circulating in the community” despite the board’s and high school staff’s best efforts to correct the falsehoods.

First: The board’s decision in regard to Dr. Pitcock’s dismissal “was completely unrelated to the recent Student Talent Show.” It was the principal who told Taiylar Ball she couldn’t attend prom after she failed to inform the teacher supervising the talent show that she had changed her spoken words, and that she spoke the N-word in her poem, which is not allowed on campus.

“Both the board and (Superintendent) Dr. (Von) Mansfield were completely supportive of Dr. Pitcock’s decision in connection with that incident,” Lites stressed.

Second: Reports were unfounded that teachers or staff members had resigned as a result of the actions against Pitcock.

“Our only recent teacher resignation occurred prior to the board’s decision and was totally unrelated,” he told the audience.

Third: Rumors are spreading that District 233 is already interviewing for a principal replacement. Lites said that was “untrue. There are no replacement candidates; there have been no interviews or discussions.  As stated in our release in the media, the search process has not begun.”  It will start in the fall, he said.

Board member Gerald Pauling, chair of the personnel committee, told those in attendance that a rumor that the principal of Crete-Monee High School had been interviewed was also false.

Fourth: A report that Tim Wenckus had resigned from the Districct 233 board was false. Wenckus was at the meeting. He was one of two dissenting votes when the board decided to dismiss Pitcock. Wenckus believes the board members can work together and he will remain on the board.

Dave Mayer, the other board member to vote against the school board’s decision, has resigned.

Lites said those four rumors are ones “that we’ve been made aware of.  I suspect that there are probably more. I wanted to address those that we were factually made aware of,” he told the crowd of more than 500 people.


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