Parents confront Griffith School Board about disciplined students

2013-10-11T17:45:00Z 2013-10-11T21:39:36Z Parents confront Griffith School Board about disciplined studentsCharles F. Haber Times Correspondent
October 11, 2013 5:45 pm  • 

GRIFFITH | About 50 angry parents gave an earful to the Griffith Public Schools board on Thursday about letters of discipline their kids received after acts of vandalism on "senior prank" day.

The incidents happened on the evening of Sept. 26, a day before homecoming.

School Superintendent Peter Morikis said various acts took place, including teepeeing with toilet paper, spray painting obscene words on a brick wall and the parking lot, broken glass in the parking lot and moving the life-size figure of a cow.

"What happened out there was disgusting," board President John Dudlicek said.

The parents said about 150 kids were involved but only 38 were identified and given the letter, which was written by high school Principal William Cope.

"You are receiving this letter because of your involvement in the activities that caused damage to our school," the letter stated. "It is understood there may be students receiving this letter who did not personally destroy school property."

The letter further says that involvement at any level requires accountability and was accompanied by a contract.

The contract offers a choice of performing community service, serving a one day in-school suspension, or working on a project that benefits the high school.

Parents were further angered that the students were instructed to sign the contracts and said they will refuse to let their kids sign them.

They also said the kids were told their scholarships and graduation could be at risk.

However, there is no such language in the letter and Dudlicek assured that it will not go on their records.

Many parents were mad that their kids were singled out and others were not. Some said members of the football team were involved — but not added to the list until people became vocal about it.

"The way this was handled on so many levels was wrong," one mother said.

Another man said the kids were never given due process.

"The School Board broke your own rules," he said.

Some parents said they were treated rudely when calling the high school administration, including one mother who said she was yelled at over the phone.

One father agreed that the incidents were wrong but said the administration should have just made everyone go out and clean the mess.

Dudlicek agreed the situation was handled wrong.

"This board is hearing you," he said. "Call the school again."

One of the students spoke to the board and said the kids are not being treated fairly.

"We're all college bound and we're good kids."

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