NEWTON, IL. (ECWd) –
This school board censured and punished a fellow board member in violation of state law, federal civil rights (of the member and of the voters), and board policy.
“Censure” is not found in the school code. Illinois is a Dillon’s Rule state, which means a public body only has the powers given to it by the legislature. School Boards, among other public bodies, were never given the power of censure. That said, “censure” is merely a statement by the board that it does not, or did not, approve of an action by the member being censured. No punishment is involved, only a strong indication of disapproval. This board took censure to another level by targeting the board member for ridicule, embarrassment, and the withholding of resources.
This alleged punishment indiscriminately doled out by the school board is illegal and has all the signs of workplace bullying of the targeted board member. Workplace bullying (which is not illegal) is described as (info obtained from “workplacebullying.org):
· Is driven by perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual(s).
· Is initiated by bullies who choose their targets, timing, location, and methods.
· Is a set of acts of commission (doing things to others) or omission (withholding resources from others)
· Requires consequences for the targeted individual
· Escalates to involve others who side with the bully, either voluntarily or through coercion.
· Undermines legitimate business interests when bullies’ personal agendas take precedence over work itself.
· Is akin to domestic violence at work, where the abuser is on the payroll.
Several board members expressed the clear indication this action of theirs is nothing more than their way to get back at him, and to try to get him to resign. They [the board members] NEED TO CONTROL him – They CHOOSE THEIR METHODS – They use a set of OMISSIONS (Withholding resources from him) – Consequences for the targeted member are real – They get others to join in the bullying AND bullying others who may not think the way they do [like making a 911 call and lying about what happened] – it UNDERMINES the legitimate business interests of the board – their personal agenda of punishing the targeted board member into infinity is taking precedence over the work of the board. NEVERENDING punishment that cannot be legally doled out is workplace bullying.
What does the Jasper County School Board policy say they can do to a Board Member who they believe willfully failed to perform his or her duties?
Policy 2:60 – Board Member Removal From Office
Board Member Removal from Office
If a majority of the Board determines that a Board member has willfully failed to perform his or her official duties, it may request the Regional Superintendent to remove such member from office.
That’s right, their sole recourse is to request the Regional Superintendent to remove the member from office (which they did ask). There is nothing else they can do. And with the history of this particular regional superintendent’s alleged illegal and felonious use of public credit cards (read it here), I doubt he would open that can of worms.