The students are supporting social studies teacher Jill Musil, who spoke at a November assembly in support of tolerance and students who protested racist graffiti that was scrawled on a bathroom stall.
The students supporting Musil say administrators believe that the teacher had a hand in organizing the protest at the November assembly. The students say Musil had no role in organizing the protest.
Administrators got wind of the walkout and asked the Riverside Police Department to send a squad car over. Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said that all the officers did was observe the situation.
District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis said students carried signs which had a photograph of Musil on them.
Musil is in her fourth year of teaching at RBHS and is still on probationary status. Teachers hired for a fifth year at RBHS automatically receive tenure when they begin their fifth year.
The administration will present its recommendation on whether to rehire Musil at the March 14 meeting of the Board of Education. Skinkis declined to say whether the administration will recommend rehiring Musil.
“Non-renewal recommendations on probationary teachers will be brought forward at the March meeting,” Skinkis said. “When looking at recommendations, we have to look at all perspectives and in their entirety. I can’t share any details with you on a personnel case.”
Musil, meanwhile, is expected to address the District 208 Board of Education at its Feb. 28 meeting. On Monday, Musil declined to talk to the Landmark about her situation.
Student supporters of Musil say that she has been given a choice to resign or face not being rehired. Teachers who do not achieve tenure often resign before being non-tendered a position, because a resignation is viewed as making it easier to find another job.
It’s unclear whether a student complained about Musil making a positive statement about the November protest in class or whether the RBHS administration is concerned Musil creates an unwelcome atmosphere for conservative students and is too political.
Supporters of Musil say she is a very supportive teacher.
“Mrs. Musil is the biggest advocate for students at RB,” said senior Gianni Segarra in an email to the Landmark. “I’ve never had a teacher go out of their way to make sure every student feels loved, appreciated and accepted the way Mrs. Musil does every single day.
“So the fact that she is being punished on the grounds of discriminating against students and creating an unsafe school environment is absurd.”