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Letter to the Editor: D46 Board Member Reacts to Threatening Phone Call

Letter to the Editor: District 46 Board Member Shannon Smigielski writes an open letter to the person she said threatened her family in a phone call about the ongoing teacher strike. Another negotiating session will be 5 p.m. Sunday at Park School.

Please, leave my daughters alone.

This is to the man who threatened my daughters:

At 11:45 p.m. last night, Sat. January 19, 2013, you called my home. My family was sleeping so you opted to leave a message on our answering machine. 

While I cannot write verbatim what you said because of the vile and abusive language it contained, I can paraphrase with accuracy since it remains on our machine.

“You are a (expletive) liar. I’d really hate to see what happens to your daughters at school when I have my kids (expletive) taunt them every day because their mother is a (expletive) liar. Settle the (expletive) strike.”

First, you must know that the police were contacted and I have filed a report regarding your call. If their investigation leads them to you, I will press charges of harassment.

It is not ok to threaten ANY ONE’S children. If you don’t like my choices, come speak to me at a meeting. You called my home and threatened my family. I will not stand by and allow you or anyone else to intrude into my home and hurt my children.

Second, if the police investigation doesn’t lead them to you, I am offering a $500 reward to the person who notifies the police of your identity. Second only to negotiations, my purpose is to find you and have you prosecuted.

If anyone has any information as to who made the call to my home and threatened my daughters, please contact: Patrol Officer Frawley. Site Case # 13-2382.

Phone number: 847-223-2341. 

Please, leave my daughters alone.

Shannon Smigielski

Mother of 2

CCSD#46 School Board Member

Lennie Jarratt January 21, 2013 at 01:47 AM
From the letter, it doesn't appear to be about sympathy. It appears to be a public calling out of the person responsible. Publicizing incident like this should be done as it will lessen the chances of another incident. Anonymous callers rely on their anonymity. When that is gone, they usually stop. In all rights you should have called the police as well. The best way to stop bullying is to stand up to it and let others know.
Katie Osmon January 21, 2013 at 01:53 AM
I agree Molly! My kid, as well as a few others have been getting bullied on the bus for the past 2 years, nothing has been done about it, but hey, we're not on the school board, so, our kids don't matter, I guess. Kinda sad... Still, this whole situation is uncalled for and disturbing. I'm making the best of it and keeping my kids education going as best I can. He has workbooks and like I previously stated, we're currently in Springfield, IL, learning all about Honest Abe and our State Capital. ;) This isn't a vacation for the kids, they still need to learn.
Katie Osmon January 21, 2013 at 01:55 AM
That's a bunch of shenanagans Lennie. Anonymous people continue until they get caught.
catalina10 January 21, 2013 at 01:55 AM
I don't believe that was her intention Molly.
WorriedParent January 21, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Molly, while no child should be bullied EVER and there should be zero tolerance for it in the school and from the school...this incident is not about publicity. Her children were targeted and threatened by an ADULT!!! This is not about gaining public sympathy but calling this coward out and I hope Grayslake PD finds who it was!
Tara Strain January 21, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Molly and Katie, to say the things you have both said above sounds to me like you should be getting upset with the people you told who did nothing, not Shannon and the BOE. The BOE has nothing to do with Shannon's letter getting published on the Patch. Shannon sent the plea for the public's help in indentifying this ADULT directly to the Editor. I have tried very hard to be as respectful as possible on these comments, but I have to tell you both that your comments above come across as bitter and intending to create more divisions where community is needed. As far as you kids getting bullied is concerned, I feel for both of you as a mama, and pray things are better now. If not, I say this sincerely, Shannon can help & will. She is a long time anti-bullying advocate for the children of D46.
Molly Cullinan January 21, 2013 at 02:41 AM
I surely hope it wasn't her intention. I admit, I don't know her, or the situation. However, I'm not sure what the motivations are, in this case, of the people involved, but I can tell you, from a personal perspective, that we do NOT have a zero tolerance anti-bullying policy in our D46 schools, it is a myth! I find it repulsive that anyone (parents/kids/supporters) would behave in this manner. However, I don't like the timing of this article, it has the air of abuse of position/access to media. I, also, feel it's safe to say, that the BOE and none of the teachers would ever condone threats or harrasment on either side. Bullying is alive and well, and being tolerated just fine in the D46 schools, folks...welcome to a non-BOE parent/child nightmare...monumentally sad, but very true!
Angela Sykora (Editor) January 21, 2013 at 02:42 AM
An updated statement has been posted on D46 website. Both sides are still in session. Board states it hopes for an agreement tonight. www.d46.org
Lennie Jarratt January 21, 2013 at 03:04 AM
Parents from Woodland D50 are having the same type of unresolved bullying issues. I have been contacted by parents in Richmond Schools as well. They have had 2 suicides recently, at least one of them was due to bullying. Second if think there is no bullying that goes on from unions during strikes or referendums you are unfortunately mistaken. I have seen it first hand and have recorded instances of it in the past. The more these instances are made public the better to help prevent them from happening in the future.
WorriedParent January 21, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Molly...access to media? If you want to write a letter to the editor I am sure Angela will post it for all to read.
Molly Cullinan January 21, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Yes, Lennie. I agree. I don't condone bullying on ANY side of the aisle, or in/out of the schools, by parents/adults, or kids. Sadly, parents/adults can be just as culpable for this type of behavior. Wow, that's really tragic to hear. It's impossible for me to believe, anymore, that these adults can keep my children safe, under any circumstances. I worked my way up the ladder all the way to the superintendent, and a school board member. Nothing meaningful was done...all lip service! This is standard practice, in schools, through out the country. Big talk, NO action!
Deadcatbounce January 21, 2013 at 03:18 AM
BILL QUICK: “Any parent who sends their kids to public schools should understand that they are sanctioning the long term abuse of their own child. Sit them down in front of a computer screen loaded up with Khan Academy courses. They’ll end up healthier, happier, better adjusted, better educated, and far, far more safe. Nobody ever got an STD, bullied, or shot through an online educational course. And no kid ever got harmed by predatory edu-bots that way, either.”
Alana January 21, 2013 at 03:57 AM
This is SHAMEFUL! I hope they catch this person, and put them in jail! Teaching your children to be a bully?!? This makes me want to homeschool my child!
Terri January 21, 2013 at 03:58 AM
None of this matters. If what Shannon says is true on it's face, it's disgusting and there is no excuse for it. IMHO... This thread should be about the cruelty inflicted on Shannon and her family. It is indefensible and not open to any form of criticism, supposition or explanation. This is serious business.
4GirlsNoBoys January 21, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Thanks to those of you on both sides who point out that Shannon is just trying to catch the adult man. (She is not trying to create drama nor sympathy.) I think it’s obvious why that man called Shannon’s house so late the night before negotiations. He was threatening her family and hoping to intimidate her so much that she would change her vote. I don’t think that Shannon’s Letter to the Editor has anything to do with publicity. In fact, if you think about it, you will likely understand that fewer people will stand up to support her by their real names – or the BOE for that matter. It makes sense that such a deranged and seemingly unbalanced man might be likely to go after the families of whoever supports Shannon. I hope they catch this disturbed man! Shannon, I’ll pitch-in with $100 to add to the reward. Maybe other people will add money, too. I’ll contact you personally on your D46 email so you know who I am. I don’t want to use my name in case the unstable guy wants to target my family.
Terri January 21, 2013 at 04:01 AM
I'd go for that...but don't limit your search to a "man"...unless Shannon & the authorities can be certain of that fact.
Katie Osmon January 21, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Tara ~ I have filed complaints with the school and bus company. My son came home from school one day back in November with a rip in his jeans on his thigh and blood drawn. I called the school then and told them about it and this kid is STILL on the bus!!! What is it going to take to get this kid off the bus???
Mtnclmbr January 21, 2013 at 10:46 AM
I don't want to seem heartless and do not accept any type of harassment in any way, especially when it involves childre. However, as Lennie suggested , show the tape and prove that Shannon didn't stage this. She has proven many times how dishonest she and the board are and now she wants sympathy! Sorry, not from me! Never cry wolf, Shannon! I will say god bless all the children that have been affected by this strike though.
Nightcrawler January 21, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Lay off, pal. Go climb another mountain.
catalina10 January 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM
What is wrong with people? Why so cynical? The fact of the matter is that SOMEONE made a threatening call to her home. The motivation here was to write a letter to the editor in the hopes of finding out who is responsible and ask for the communities help if the police cannot determine the person. For those who have children that have been bullied, I think that is terrible as well. But to say that the district does NOTHING to help resolve the matter is just wrong. Please, quit your negativity and move on!!! Geeeeesh!
catalina10 January 21, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Oh my word. You ARE a very bitter person indeed. You need to calm down and get over yourself.
MB January 21, 2013 at 01:27 PM
What's also sad is that someone in that position has put enough doubt in residents' heads that they even question the validity of her claim and motivations. I hope that the harassing phone call was a one time deal and Shannon's children are safe. I've never attended a CCSD 46 Board Meeting, but with all of the comments that have been posted on the articles about the strike, It seems prudent that as parents, we hold both our teachers and BOE a little more accountable.
Shannon January 21, 2013 at 03:45 PM
It pains me to even respond to your post Mtnclmbr - it is beyond heartless. My family is shaken to our core. I will never wish upon anyone the feelings this call has left my family with. This call and message are very real. The police came to my home, listened, took down as much information as they could, and filed a report/case. Suggesting that I staged it would also include suggesting the GLPD are involved in that conspiracy. Note in my letter than I include the case number and phone number to the GLPD along with the officer's name. All I am looking for is for someone, anyone who knows the man who called my home and threatened my daughters, to contact the GLPD, give the case number, and turn this man in. No one, NO ONE should ever have to go through what he has put my family through. I am not too proud to BEG the COMMUNITY for HELP so my family can feel safe. I will ask again, if anyone knows the man who called my home, please call GLPD, reference case # 13-2382. If the police are able to identify the man through your tip, our reward is now $700. I love Grayslake and despite anyones difference of opinion with me, I hope that can be set aside and my plea for help in identifying this man will be heard. Thank you. Shannon Smigielski
Pete Gardner January 21, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Mrs. Smigielski, no one, regardless of position, conviction, beliefs, ideas or anything else should have their family threatened, especially their children! Its disgraceful that anyone come here and victimize your family again by laying blame on you. Shameful! I am so so sorry your daughters have been targeted by a coward. I hope he has a big mouth and bragged of his cowardace. I hope anyone who knows him is courageous enough to contact the authorities. He needs to be caught so never to do it again. God bless you and keep you safe.
Sully January 21, 2013 at 06:27 PM
You are comparing kids being bullied to unions picketing? How simplistic can you be, Lennie? And if I'm not mistaken, your own wife has spoken against bullying programs in the schools. Oh gee, that's probably just another lie, right Len?
Lennie Jarratt January 21, 2013 at 06:34 PM
LOL @Sully.... Pathetic.....
Sully January 21, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Maybe you'd like to comment about Lisa's stand on bullying programs, and while you're at it, your belief of what a quality school is. As a well informed intelligent adult, surely you can tell everyone what your definition of a quality school is.
PJ January 22, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Wow! Six years ago when we bought our house we researched school districts and believed that Grayslake had a great schools. Everyone we spoke with said Grayslake had a great community too. We have four in a half more years before my children are out of high school. I'm scared to think that this strike and all the negativity from people in the community is making Grayslake a town that families will want to move from and not move to. I know we're looking forward to moving. Mrs. Smigielski I hope you find the culprit.
Marvin K Mooney January 22, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Wow, how embarrassing that our community has come to this and that adults would go after children - how pathetic and disgusting. We are not exempt from many wanting to exit GL not just bc of prop taxes, school strikes, but the uncaring of many and poor neighborly attitudes. Shannon, I wish luck in finding this person, and I can see why many don't want to BOE volunteer, this behavior is defin not worth it & I hope many are keeping their safety eyes out for her kids and talking with all our kids that BULLYING is wrong and even as a bystander, you should step up! The schools say they have a ZERO tolerance which when asked to put that in action, they bail out. So many students get threatened with weapons, violence, and harsh verbal abuse and much of the administration & parents of these kids causing this, just ignore, no responsibility, no care. Someone needs to revamp Ellen Corell's bully plan that went far to the wayside & some parents need to take responsibility for their kids and pay attention.
Marvin K Mooney January 22, 2013 at 05:00 PM
and wow that parent that made the threatening call to Shannon & her family, there it lies as with the majority of bullying...starts from the parents/homes. wonder what goes on in his home, what a terrible thing he is teaching his kids, DCFS should run a head check on him.

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