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By Carmen Ensinger
Carrollton School Board appointed a new school board member Monday night, Sept. 27, at their monthly meeting to replace Melissa Wade, who moved out of the district.
The board had three candidates to choose from according to Board President Rodney Reif.
“I think we had three really good candidates to choose from,” Reif said. “I appreciate them all taking the time and effort to apply for the position.”
Those three candidates were former long-time Carrollton teacher and coach Jeff Krumweide, Kari Manker and Arron Cook. The board appointed Cook to the position. After reading the Oath of Office, Cook took his seat behind the table to vote on issues at the September meeting. Cook will finish out the remainder of Wade’s four-year term, which is up in April of 2023.
Superintendent Mark Halwachs reported that the district had another really good month in regards to the penny sales tax revenue.
“This is our third best month ever in regards to money received from the penny sales tax,” he said. “We received $19,511 this month. I think in the previous four months we have had the three highest months ever as far as sales tax receipts go. This money is going to go a long with the abatement projects we have planned at the high school.”
At the request of Halwachs, the board approved increasing the reimbursement rate for mileage from the current rate of 48.5 cents per mile to the IRS recommended rate of 56 cents per mile.
Reif informed the audience about a special board meeting which actually took place twice last month.
“We had a meeting last month and while we had visitors in the room, apparently, the outside doors were locked and we did not know it so some who wanted to attend the meeting could not get in,” he said. “Because we wanted to be open and transparent, we held the same meeting again the following week. We had no idea the doors were locked because we had people sitting in here with us. We apologize for the confusion.”
The board gave the superintendent the authority to seek fuel bids.
Following a brief closed session, the board approved the retirement of teacher Patty Kulenkamp at the end of the 2023-24 school year. They also approved the hiring of hourly library worker Susan Kirchner.
Luke Nolan was hired as middle school boys’ basketball head coach while Phillip Walker and Marty Rhoades were appointed as volunteer high school boys assistant coaches.
Several guests were on the agenda to speak, including Cindy Dawdy, who requested to speak on House Bill 818, otherwise known as the Illinois Sex Education Law, which was passed recently by the Illinois legislature.
“This bill adds a sex education portion to our kindergarten through fifth grades,” Dawdy said. “I want you guys to know that we (District) are allowed to opt out of this bill – it is a choice they added in there.”
However, if the district, as a whole, doesn’t choose to opt out, parents can choose to opt out.
“I have been told that you guys don’t have to tell parents whenever you are doing this that they have the option to opt out of this,” Dawdy said. “So, parents, if they do choose to follow through with this bill, please make sure that you are emailing the principal now to tell them that you are opting out of this.”
Dawdy said that the bill follows the National Sex Education Standards, which she printed out a list of and presented to each board member. This list showed what they would be teaching at each grade level.
But what bothered Dawdy most was the book that was recommended for use at the fifth-grade level – a book called “It’s Perfectly Normal.”
“Many public libraries have challenged this book because of its contents,” she said. Most libraries called this book child pornography and it is banned in most libraries. Yet we are supposed to teach this to our kids. It is one of the most banned books in America, but it is one of the ones that Illinois recommends we use.”
Dawdy said the book contains pictures of children masturbating, boys and girls in all stages of sexual play, pictures of people having sex, both hetero and homosexual.
She brought photos from the book to prove her point.
“You tell me this is not pornography,” she said. “I hope I don’t ever have to find this book here because I will sue this district for child pornography if I do.”