District 103 School Candidates launch Facebook Page
The candidates for School District 103 launched a new Facebook Page, Parents for Student Excellence, to promote their candidacies and to also promote issues and events related to the controversy-plagued School District 103. School District 103 serves 2,400 students living in Brookfield, Forest View, Lyons, McCook and Stickney.
Education leaders Jorge Torres, Olivia Quintero, Winifred Rodriguez and Vito Campanile have announced their candidacies for seats on the School District 103 board to replace the current board majority which has been accused of failed leadership.
Torres serves on the board and he is one of three board members who have been bullied, harassed and intimidated by the board majority because they have dared to question recent decisions including one which resulted in the hiring of a man, Andres Rodriguez, accused of attempted murder and firing a gun 7 times at a passerby.
Andres Rodriguez, who allegedly is a friend of a board administrator who works with the board majority, was hired last August as a 6th Grade Teacher at George Washington Middle School, nearly 13 months after he was charged with assaulting a motorist in Tinley Park. When Rodriguez was hired, his name was changed on board documents to “Alexander Rodriguez” leading many to believe they tried to hide his controversial background and the attempted murder charges, Torres said.
When the new teacher’s past criminal charges were made public, hundreds of parents crowded a School District 103 Board meeting in October 2018 to demand answers. But the board Chairman Margaret Hubacek, refused to allow more than five of the parents and concerned citizens to speak. Among those turned away by Hubacek was McCook Mayor and Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski. The board also used a clock that limited speakers to 3 minutes.
Tobolski joined Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty, State Senator Martin Sandoval and other community and government leaders in demanding that Hubacek resign in the face of her outrageous conduct and failure to protect the safety and interests of the School district’s 2,400 students.
Ironically, months after the controversy and the board was forced to fire Rodriguez, Hubacek allowed her allies who were attending a board meeting in November to speak without any restrictions. Rodriquez was dismissed by the board in late December 2018, months after the disclosures were finally made public against the interests of the Hubacek-led board. Click here to read a story about the firing.
Jorge Torres denounced the board’s conduct, saying it was clearly “political” and designed “to silence parents when they have questions about the board’s actions that the board doesn’t want to address. But they’ve their supporters all the time they need when the questions compliment Hubacek’s failed leadership.”
Torres said that his running mates, Olivia Quintero, Winifred Rodriguez and Vito Campanile, hope to bring transparency to the School District 103 board and vowed that parents concerned about the safety off their children would never be silenced at future board meeting.
“The parents have a right to ask questions and when they take the time from their busy schedules working hard caring for their families and their children to come to a school board meeting, they should be respected and allowed to ask questions, not silenced as they were during the November 2018 board meeting on this controversial hiring,” said School District 103 Trustee candidate Winifred Rodriguez.
Jorge Torres, Olivia Quintero, Winifred Rodriguez and Vito Campanile said they hoped parents living in School District 103 will “friend” their new Facebook page to stay in touch with issues impacting their children at the school district, and also keep up with information about education related events.
The four School District 103 candidates hosted a school supplies give-a-way on Saturday Jan. 5 at the public Community Center at the Village of Lyons. The event was publicized on the Parents for Student Excellence Facebook Page.
The election is April 2, 2019.
Click here to go to the Parents for Student Excellence Facebook Page and keep up to date on issues, events and news impacting students at School District 103.
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