Facebook Friday: Patch Readers React to Closing of Central School

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Here at Lemont Patch, Facebook is a big deal.

Not only does Facebook allow me to share stories and quick updates, but it allows me to interact with readers, answer questions and see what the community thinks about some of the biggest issues in town.

This week, we jumped to 709 fans, becoming the first Patch site in the Chicago region to cross the 700 mark! We love and appreciate all the support, so we hope you'll continue to share our Facebook page with friends.

Every Friday, we'll highlight some of the comments on our page, and we'll even share some of our community pages.

Overheard on Facebook:

Following the unanimous vote Monday by the Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education to close Central School, readers took to our Facebook page to chime in on the decision:

  • Robyn Rehor Horn: Not looking forward to telling my girls in the morning. I'll have hte kleenex nearby. I hope this shows the community that the board is acting fiscally responsible and that we do indeed NEED MORE INCOME!! I think if the community could see our kids faces, they would see how much we're all sacrificing.
  • Rich Rinchich: Amanda...many of us in the community knew this was inevitable when the referendum lost. Many parents are and many kids will be upset with the closing of Central. Members of our community turned their backs on our children when they voted "n...o" for the referendum. Sure they voted in four new school board members...but without the funds from the referendum, the B of Ed does not have the tools to do the job. Cuts are the only way to stabilize the district finances. Those who voted against the referendum are now as equally responsible for the district's financial problems as those who deficit spent us into this mess.
  • Rich Rinchich: I think the true impact of the district's financial situation was realized by Aurelio and Malley at last Thursday's special BoE meeting. This is why the executive session ran so long tonight...what if and how about this? Which needed to be played out so all members of the BoE were unified on the plan of action. When was the last time a Dist. 113a BoE vote was 7-0?
  • Marilou Purpura: We are going around in circles with our heads cut off----why in the world did they spend______________ to fix central up if they were going to close it? Who did we hire, who did the work, where did the money go? NOW 5th grade is going to... go school with 8th graders? The Maturity level is so different....oh lets cut teachers so there is even less people watching these kids....oh and lets not give buss service so they can beat each other up on the way home....I say no thank you.
  • Holly Van Howe: My 10 year old cried when I told him the news! I guess the school board and people that voted NO don't really care.
  • Angie Lara Sojka: I'm curious to see what the drop / off & pick up plan will be for next year. Not only are they adding Central children to the line but they cut bus service to Covington Knolls & Abbey Oaks. That will add 247 children to car rider line.
  • Catherine Dopak Stukel: We're not closing down the people - just the building. The same great community exists - its just a building. If your kids are crying over a building - tell them that - "its just a building" --your friends are still your friends. Your neighbors are still your neighbors. It's a great place to live - and we are tightening our belts
  • Marilou Purpura: ‎@Angie, yours is not the only bus service that was cut, there is other bus routes I believe 4 that was cut...
  • Angie Lara Sojka: The thing that concerns me most Marilou, is that while there was bus service cut to Old Quarry Middle School it is service for 6, 7, & 8th graders. The service that was cut for Covington Knolls & Abbey Oaks is for K - 4. While I'm not happy... about any service being cut, 5 yr old children walking 1.49 miles to school, where 3/4 of a mile sidewalk has no homes or business with a front entryway for them to seek help (in the event they need it) is of great concern to me. I just hope they can come up with a "safe" route for these extremely young children.
  • Holly Van Howe: @Catherine--Maybe you want to tell my 10 year old not to cry because his school is 'just a building?' How about some compassion and understanding??
  • Peggy Ilievski Grubb: Holly-my 8 year old is heartbroken too. We had a good cry this morning.
  • Chris Rinchich: Also @Catherine: I'd be interested to know how all the school restructuring has effected you as a parent of a parochial school student in our town. Please don't think I'm being snarky, that is not my intent; but I'm really curious about your thoughts.

Facebook Page of the Week:

This week's Facebook Page of the Week goes to the Front Street Cantina. The page is a great way to keep up with daily specials and deals. This weekend, the restaurant is offering a 10 percent discount to anyone who brings in their tickets to the Lemont High School musical, Singin' in the Rain.

Judy Techman May 21, 2011 at 02:03 PM
In regards to the Facebook comments on the closing of Central School, I respond this way. I know it has to be a sad and tough time, however, I was at the "special" board meeting a wk. ago Thurs. The principal stated that she and the other teachers have been preparing the children for this moment for years. She said the children were excited about the change and going to a new school. The principal of Central also stated that we have to close down Central because at ref. time that's what the public was told. We'd have an akward moment if the school didn't close when the ref. didn't pass. As for someone's comment that the no votes turned their backs on the kids and were equally responsible for the deficit problem. Would you please rethink those statements? The no vote was handed down because there were facts and figures stating that it was a spending problem not an income problem. Did one really want to vote for a board and a $20 mil. ref. at the same time? Heaven forbid the same board members returned only to have $20 mil. in their hands. It's proven that one cannot deficit spend and hope to get out of a bad situation. The no vote was precisely for the children. Those responsible now for our children need to make choices for our children not for how much more of an increase, vacation time, benefits the staff can get. It has to all be about the children. As for the bussing and school situations w/the older children w/the younger children, I say this.
Judy Techman May 21, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Cont'd... The older kids are going to have to step up and be that respectful, thoughtful, loving young man or woman and be a mentor and role model of sorts to the younger ones. If they show their respect and thoughtfulness to everyone they encounter, then there will not be an issue. It is up to us as parents to instill the facts upon them that it is different now and they must act accordingly.
Judy Techman May 21, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Sorry, one last important thing. To whatever point one can, one has to be involved in the education process of one's child. One cannot let the government run it all. If you see something you don't like or your child comes home and tells you about what happened during the day and you don't think it is right then say something to the teacher or principal. Don't be afraid to speak up. After all they work for us.
Lee Ristow May 21, 2011 at 05:51 PM
I find it interesting that the principal had been preparing the teachers and children for the closing of Central School for "years", yet it was only during the last referendum that it was used--I think--as a scare tactic to get the referendum passed. So which is it? It's been planned for years or it's happening as a result of the recently failed referendum--can't have it both ways.
Marie Markowski May 21, 2011 at 07:14 PM
I've heard the "we'll have to close Central" quite a few times in the past 20 yrs. I remember it coming up when the talk of building OQ first came up as Central was the "Jr. High" back then. Just about every time a referendum (or thought of one) was presented that idea/rumor made the rounds.
Hank Olenick May 22, 2011 at 07:14 AM
Thank you for so fluently expressing my thoughts.
Cathy Mulloy May 23, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Lee Ristow, with Central now closing how in the world can you state that was a scare tactic? Judy Techman stop pretending that your no vote was for the children. That is an obnoxous, self-serving comment. And please stop passing the buck to the teachers & staff. If you did some homework you would have known that the $20 million would have been used to reduce class sizes and it would have kept Central open. Didn’t the it’s a spending problem so called fact come from the same group that said the cost of the referendum was $28 million or 10 teachers? Now you blame board members and staff whom you state are more concerned about salary increases and vacation time and improved benefits. Who are your sources that this is what the staff only cares about or is this more lies from you. Your comments makes it clear that it is time for you to stop drinking the kool-aid handed to you by the Koch brothers and the tea party. Sorry that staff don't work for minimum wage like you expect them to. Your teacher bashing is sad and classless. Your no vote has punished the children plain and simple. By voting no you voted to fire more than 80 staff, increase class sizes, cut extracurriculars, close Central and eliminate bus services. If you and others had voted yes then those things wouldn't have happened. Heaven forbid you actually take ownership of voting no and stop blaming others and saying things like the no vote was precisely for the children. What a crock.
Lee Ristow May 24, 2011 at 02:09 AM
My point was that it was obviously planned "years ago" but the threat to close it was used to try to get the referendum passed--which didn't work. Would it still have been closed if the referendum had passed--I think so since the Central school principal had been preparing her staff and students for it for "years". Maybe a better word would have been "tactic" rather than threat.
Hank Olenick May 24, 2011 at 03:46 AM


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