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Trustee Terson's Concerning Behavior at the District 21 School Board

Trustee Terson's Concerning Behavior at the District 21 School Board

We would like to inform the public about the recent behavior of one of the Village Trustees at the December 20th District 21 Board Meeting, as many residents who do not follow the school board meetings are not aware of this.  

After being announced as a Village Trustee, most individuals in the room thought he was speaking on behalf of the Village.  Trustee Terson began discussing his views on the expectations that children are 
provided an environment with safe playground equipment, adult supervision in and outside and without bullying.  These are all good topics, and not where our concern is.

Our concern is that he then began to make statements that he does not hold the district accountable for what recently happened in 
Connecticut. He then encouraged parents and the board to not let fear guide their decisions, insinuating that the school board was about to make irrational decisions on the safety of our children based on the recent tragedy.  The culmination of his behavior was in a statement where he said something along the lines that our children have a better chance of being harmed at home by their parents, than at school.  He said this with children and parents present.

His behavior is not what we expect of our elected officials.  It is unacceptable, for Trustee Terson to make these statements at a school board meeting attempting to influence the decisions that could affect our Children’s safety. He was speaking after it being announced that he was a Trustee, speaking on the Village’s behalf.  Using an elected office to push personal agendas is the exact same reason why we as a Village recalled Lisa Stone, and we are sure what Trustee Terson did is against the rules.  

In the meeting Trustee Terson had the ability to correct the fact that he was announced as a Trustee, and chose not to.  Therefore, it is our belief that he was attempting to use his position as a Trustee to influence the decisions of the D21 Board.

 

Concerned Parents of District 21

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Walter White January 27, 2013 at 04:18 AM
Your narrative really doesn't describe his comments very well. I have no idea what you're talking about. Also, isn't anyone who speaks at a board meeting trying to influence the board's decisions? Why else would you speak? It really doesn't matter whether he is a village trustee or not..I'm assuming he's a parent and has a vested interest in the schools. Finally, are you actually a group of parents or just one person calling yourself "Concerned Parents of District 21"?
Patty Wydra January 27, 2013 at 01:43 PM
I was at that board meeting and at no time did I think Mike Terson was there as a representative from the Village of Buffalo Grove. Maybe because I know him personally and talked to him that evening. It was announced earlier in the evening that "Mike Terson a Trustee from Buffalo Grove" was there. He only spoke during the public comment section of the meeting and did announce he was a parent. If he was truly there as a Trustee, wouldn't it have been on the agenda?
Abigail January 27, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Village trustee or not, he still has a right to his opinion and the right to express it. And, he's right--people ARE making irrational decisions in the wake of the Newtown shooting. So, "Concerned Parents of District 21," we know who HE is. How about you tell us who YOU are.
Mike Terson January 28, 2013 at 02:18 AM
A couple things I’d like to clarify and correct… I went to the District 21 School Board meeting as a parent of a child in the District. I asked to NOT be introduced and recognized as a trustee. Their Board chose to do so anyway, but did so significantly prior to me making my comments, not when I was called to speak. I believe I did identify myself as a parent of a child in the district when I spoke. The letter writer states, “Our concern is that he then began to make statements that he does not hold the district accountable for what recently happened in Connecticut.” That is not true. I never made any such statements. What I did say is, “God forbid something to the tragic magnitude as what took place in Connecticut were to happen in our community, I do not have an expectation of you (in regards to safety).”
Mike Terson January 28, 2013 at 02:18 AM
The letter writer went on to say, “He then encouraged parents and the board to not let fear guide their decisions, insinuating that the school board was about to make irrational decisions on the safety of our children based on the recent tragedy.” That is not true. I never insinuated anything of the sort. What I said was, “I am not going to tell you how you should spend money on building safety. That is your job to figure out and I trust your judgment. What I will do is share some research I did and offer my perspective on a couple of things.” I later added, “…there is a lot of fear and anger after last Friday. I would encourage you to not let fear and anger guide you in your decision making. There are technological needs, and air conditioning is something that people talk about being a need. In my opinion, you will have a bigger impact on safety if you change procedures and behavior, than you will if you spend millions of dollars to unsuccessfully attempt to turn the school buildings into a fortress.” Next, the letter writer states, “The culmination of his behavior was in a statement where he said something along the lines that our children have a better chance of being harmed at home by their parents, than at school.” That is not true. What I said was, “We are a lot more likely as parents to kill or seriously injure one of our own kids while talking on our cell phones as we pull into the school parking lot.”
Mike Terson January 28, 2013 at 02:18 AM
To be clear, I was in no way speaking on behalf of the Village of Buffalo Grove or the Board of Trustees. I apologize if anyone thought otherwise, and for not making that clear enough. My intent was to provide the School Board with balance from what I felt was public pressure to make drastic and expensive changes in what I perceived as a kneejerk reaction to what happened in Connecticut. My son is a student in the District, and I was only speaking as a parent. I have attached a PDF of my comments to provide the full context of what I said. I would like to disclose that the statistical information is not accurate (it’s close, but not completely accurate). I compiled it very hastily before the meeting and my tabulations were a little off; however, the crux of my point is unaffected by that.
RELENTLESSCRITIC January 28, 2013 at 04:54 AM
Exactly how many "concerned parents" are we talking about? One irate couple with a selective hearing problem and an axe to grind against Terson? Glad he posted his written comments- not at all what the "concerned parents" letter characterized, is it? Alarmist nitwits.
Patrick Madigan January 28, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Glad someone was able to twist words to their advantage, making a non-issue into something damaging Terson's reputation.
Walter White January 28, 2013 at 02:45 PM
C'mon "Concerned Parents", don't run away from this now. You put this out there as an issue and Mr. Terson has responded and explained himself. Don't slink away without explaining yourself and how many "concerned parents" you represent, you coward. If the number is greater than one I'd be shocked.
Maureen Welborn January 28, 2013 at 03:21 PM
"Alarmist nitwit" and "coward" .... These are bullying words ... Something Mike Terson is adamantly against. I'm sure you want to defend Mike's comments, but please refrain from "name calling".
American1 January 28, 2013 at 04:06 PM
While I was not at the meeting, This does sound like misdirected anger. I am a district 21 parent, and appreciate all ideas spoken in a public forum designed to make our kids life better. I have seen Mike work tirelessly to help this community, and since we do not know who you are, we will assume you are doing nothing but complaining. I'm sure you had the same opportunity to speak. I even value your opinion, but you should not be hiding behind a fictitious group name.
American1 January 28, 2013 at 04:25 PM
My name is Mary Strege - I am trying to update an old profile
Longfellow Parent January 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM
There are a bunch of comments on the Longfellow parents facebook page about parent volunteers and there are more than a few parents that had an opposite view as Mike Terson’s. Aside from the fact the he was right and these parents are out of line in their beef with the school principal, it sure seems to me that “Concerned Parents of District 21” is someone who didn’t like Terson disagreeing with them. To go to the measure of trying to publicly humiliate someone is pretty low. Good for Mike for not being afraid to stand up to this kind of nonsense.
Jim Strege January 28, 2013 at 11:27 PM
My name is Jim Strege. I know Mike personally and stand behind him as a parent and trustee. He has the comittment to respond to these accusations using his name. I think that should speak volumes to the author of this article. I happen to agree with Mike that reacting just to react is wrong. Our government is doing enough of that to go around. Right after Sandy Hook some one suggested we install bullet proof glass at the front door, without considering the fact that our kids use the playground daily! Knee jerk reaction. We as parents are all highly concerned. We should be listening to ALL the ideas to keep our children safe, then make rational,l well thought out changes. Mike is at the very least adding his point of view in an open forum using his own name. Your words are more likely to be considered that way. Oh and BTW I agree with the danger of the parking lot at Longfellow being dangerous due to cell phones being used illegally and hurried , rude people navigating through the lot to rush on to what ever is next. I don't go in there any more, its crazy. Mike keepup the good work your efforts are appreciated, even the ones I may not agree with.

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