PEORIA, IL -- Activist Terry Knapp fought back during the public comments at the Peoria District 150 School Board's special meeting on July 2.
He was attacked personally at the July 1 meeting after he spoke, and had no way to respond. He said the woman who attacked him was "Lathan's hairdresser."
He first told the board that he was never a 'friend' to students, as he was their teacher. He taught for years in District 150. He criticized the board for becoming friends with the resigned superintendent Grenita Lathan. You were "her friend first and a school board member second," he said.
"Let's not befriend the (next) person" the new superintendent, he said. "You do your job as board members."
Then he turned his attention to the attacker, saying she lied about him and his lawsuit against the district, years ago. The insurance company paid his settlement, he said, and the lawyers took most of it.
She also misspoke when she said Lathan was a friend to blacks, he said. He named several blacks that Lathan had fired.
He said the board president or attorney should have stopped her personal attack.
Sevino Sierra in his comments suggested that the comment period be returned to five minutes.
Afterwards board members said they will put this on the agenda for discussion.
"We will need input from our audience," new board member Ernestine Jackson said.
Here is a recording of the comments:
The board then approved the separation agreement with Lathan, with their attorney mentioning her deposition in lawsuits. The agreement takes effect on August 7.
They delayed appointment of an acting then interim superintendent until a meeting on Monday.
-- Elaine Hopkins