Fight injures school security guard; more truants sent home
By Jim Hagerty
In an attempt to break up a fight Friday, Dec. 18, at the Rockford Environmental Science Academy (RESA), a female security guard was injured, losing a tooth and suffering a possible broken jaw.
According to district officials, the fight occurred between two eighth-grade boys before they boarded a bus. Both students were arrested and taken to Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center. Charges were not made available.
More students sent home for truancy
In an early report Friday, District 205 Chief Communications Officer Mark Bonne said a total of 36 students from three schools–Auburn and Guilford high schools, and West Middle School, were sent home for chronic truancy between Wednesday, Dec. 16, and Thursday, Dec. 17.
By the end of school Friday, the total stood at 128.
Bonne said the students are not officially suspended and may be allowed back after attending a special meeting accompanied by at a parent.
Superintendent Dr. LaVonne Sheffield announced at last Tuesday’s school board meeting chronic truants found roaming the district’s high schools and middle schools would be removed from their respective campuses and barred from the buildings until their parents are consulted and a formal plan for re-entry has been established.
Rockford Environmental Science Academy is one of at least two district schools Sheffield has placed on “notice” because of disruptions which, if continued, could result in leadership changes.
Former Auburn Principal Dr. Richard Jancek and Thomas Schmitt, former principal of West Middle School, were replaced this week for what has been described as poor performance at both schools. Schmitt and Jancek were relieved of their principal duties, Wednesday, Dec. 16.
Jancek’s removal came less than a week after two students were arrested for concealing loaded handguns at both Auburn campuses. One student was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Schmitt had only been on the job since August and was replaced by Kristin Wilson one day after six female West students were charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly taking part in a cafeteria fight.
Rockford Board of Education President David Kelley said Jancek and Schmitt will likely be transferred within District 205 but did not say which positions they would fill.
Jancek was replaced by Patrick Hardy, who volunteered to take the Auburn job. Hardy had been serving as District 205 Chief Academic Officer.
Sheffield said possible leadership changes at Guilford High School also could be on the horizon.
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