District 103 gets cold shoulder from Lyons

Village freezes school district out of July 4 parade, won't share student info

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By Bob Skolnik

Contributing Reporter

Officials at the village of Lyons are apparently still sore about losing control of Lyons School District 103 Board of Education.

The village is refusing to enter into a routine information-sharing agreement with District 103, allowing the village and school district to share information about students.

The animosity apparently also extends to the Lyons Fourth of July parade. For the first time in decades, the school district's Little Red Schoolhouse will not be part of the annual Independence Day celebration.

Longtime board member Joanne Schaeffer, a resident of Lyons, was upset about the snub, saying that she has participated in the parade since 1979 and that her great granddaughter was looking forward to joining her in the parade this year.

"That stinks," Schaeffer said. "Shame on the village of Lyons just because they don't like a couple members of the board."

There is some confusion over whether or not the school district was officially invited to participate in the parade this year. The district received a general flyer about the parade, but was not provided an official entry form as it has in the past.

"I'm not sure if the village did or did not send out official invites any longer, because we did get a flyer on it and we were told we're on the list because we're always in it, but we didn't get any formal notifications," Superintendent Carol Baker said. 

School board President Marge Hubacek says that she believes that if the village wanted the school district to participate in the parade, officials would have reached out in the way they had in the past.

"Here's my assumption, we didn't get invited; they didn't include us this year," Hubacek said. 

Hubacek, a resident of Forest View, was not too concerned about the school district not being part of the parade, saying that she had more important issues to worry about.

"If they don't want us in the parade they don't want us in the parade, that's it," Hubacek said.

In 2015, four candidates supported by Lyons Village President Christopher Getty were elected to take control of the school board. But in 2017, two Getty-backed incumbents were defeated, causing the village-backed school board members to lose their majority.

At the June 25 meeting of the District 103 school board, Baker said a village official told her administrative assistant that the village doesn't want to enter into an agreement to share information with this school board.

Hubacek, who was elected to the school board in 2017 and named board president, said she doesn't understand why the village won't enter into an information-sharing agreement with the school district as it has done for more than a decade.

"This shouldn't be a political issue," Hubacek said. "This is a kids' issue."

The other communities that comprise District 103 -- Brookfield, Forest View, McCook, and Stickney – all have entered into reciprocal information-sharing agreements with the school district.

School board member Shannon Johnson, who was also elected in 2017, recently went to a Lyons Village Board meeting to ask the village to enter into the agreement with the school district. 

Calls from the Landmark to the village of Lyons asking for comment about why the village was not entering into the agreement with the school district were not returned.  

Three of the district's six schools are located in Lyons.

The information-sharing agreements are typically routine and common across Illinois. They allow school districts to report suspected criminal acts by students to local police and allow local police departments to provide information and copies of police records to school officials.

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Joanne Schaeffer from Lyons  

Posted: July 3rd, 2018 7:38 PM

The village sent out a flier to everyone in Lyons announcing 4th of July village events, it didn't mean everyone was in the parade. The school board has always received an invite/application to be in the parade, this year nothing. The school board doesn't want anything special, just, as in years past, an application always came into the Ad Building well before the holiday. The school board sent the request to the village of Lyons regarding the Intergovernmental Agreement, we didn't just expect them to know it was out there, the same way the school district waited for the invite/application and it never came. I am sure all of those that are in the parade got some sort of invite since they don't just sit back and say, 'gee, I think I'll be in Lyons parade.' Manners, respect, and protocol should prevail regardless of personal feelings.

Tricia Branham  

Posted: July 3rd, 2018 6:30 PM

So, they get a flyer inviting schools and businesses to enter the parade but don't bother to go to village and fill out form or call to have form mailed to them. They insist that they be verbally invited instead. Sounds like the school district is the one with the grudge.

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