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District 46 Served With Summons

Court complaint filed by Lennie Jarratt seeks an injunction to force D46 to comply with FOIA requests.

A quest for information and accountability regarding ethics violations allegedly committed during the spring 2011 elections in Grayslake School District 46 continues.

Taxpayer watchdog Lennie Jarratt, who also serves as chairman of the Lake County Tea Party, filed a formal complaint with the Lake County Circuit Court seeking an injunction to force the school district to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and release certain requested public documents and e-mails.

A summons was served Saturday to school board president Ray Millington at district offices.

In a statement to Patch.com, District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll said, “Due to the fact that this is litigation, I have no comment.”

In the complaint, plaintiff Jarratt alleges the district refused to produce certain records regarding various e-mail correspondence made via a written FOIA request on April 8.

Jarratt said he launched his investigation to due concerns that district employees and board members were using school resources to campaign during the spring 2011 elections. Alleging ethics violations, Jarratt used the Freedom of Information Act to acquire copies of such correspondence.

In response, the district tried to have certain documents deemed exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, citing their release would be an invasion of privacy if those e-mails inadvertently included unessential names of students, parents, personnel and community members. The district also wanted to make exempt documents that included internal discussions and opinions related to district actions and policies.

In June, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office notified District 46 attorney Kevin Gordon that while some requested e-mails could be withheld (e-mails that contained internal discussions and opinions), the balance could not be.

While Northbrook/Glenview School District 30 (where former District 46 board president Mary Garcia worked as a teacher) complied by releasing 87 pages of e-mail documents between their district and District 46, Jarratt said District 46 only released eight pages of e-mails. This discrepancy must be rectified, he said.

According to Jarratt’s complaint, District 46 willfully and intentionally withheld requested documents and ignored the determination of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. The public, states the complaint, was denied access to at least 79 pages of documents, if not hundreds.

“It’s obvious there is something they are trying to cover up here or they would have released them months ago,” Jarratt said.

“The district should comply with the laws of Illinois. The citizens of D46 deserve ethical board members and administrators. The district is charged with protecting and educating the children when they are in school, therefore they need to be people of integrity and honor, i.e. people the parents can trust. Corruption should not be tolerated, especially in our local schools.”

The district has 30 days from Oct. 1 to respond to the complaint.

Sully October 10, 2011 at 03:07 AM
All my statements are uninformed. Really? Which statements would those be? You don't answer questions, Lisa, because you have no answers. It's as simple as that. You can't debate facts because you have nothing with which to back yourself up. All you do is play games and pretend to be well informed and knowledgeable. You may be able to fool some, including yourself, but you really have no clue.
Lennie Jarratt October 10, 2011 at 12:40 PM
@Sully, it is clear you don't want a debate of the facts. That is why you continue to insult anyone you disagree with. It's much easier for you to denigrate and intimidate people into stopping to comment here. It shows you don't want to debate the facts and want to make sure nobody else does either. You continually attack people anonymously on here because you wouldn't do the same to people face to face. To continue to hide behind an alias and attack people is cowardly making you the biggest cyber bully on the Patch.
Sully October 10, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Not true, Lennie. I'll debate FACTS. Give me facts, Lennie.
Sully October 10, 2011 at 01:00 PM
"We think public schools should go away,’’ says Teri Adams, the head of the Independence Hall Tea Party and a leading advocate — both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania — of passage of school voucher bills...Our ultimate goal is to shut down public schools and have private schools only, eventually returning responsibility for payment to parents and private charities. It’s going to happen piecemeal and not overnight. It took us years to get into this mess and it’s going to take years to get out of it.” "In California, tea party darling and congressional candidate David Harmer... (has) advocated eliminating public schools entirely and returning education to "the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood" and this- http://www.care2.com/causes/tea-party-plans-to-dismantle-the-department-of-education.html Just a few items here for you, Lennie.
Softball Jim October 10, 2011 at 01:35 PM
Lennie & Lisa, How can you justify Charter Schools, when only 17 percent are better than public schools. As stated in another Patch article. How can you justify taking nearly 24 million from Woodland in the last several years, thus forcing them to raise taxes on homeowners to educate the children that are not chosen to go to Prairie Crossing? Now I would agree that Prairie Crossig seems to be one of those 17 percent. But 83 of every 100 charter schools are not performing better. If it were 83 out of 100 that were performing better I would totaly see your side. Public schools have educated Millions if not Billions of children successfully. You want to produce real change in your tax bill, change the way they are funded. Find a way to get more comercial and industrial tax base into your schools taxing district. Reduce the amount of TIF districts for big buisness inside D46 boundries. Thanks RL Beach for that lack of revenue for our children. Stop all politicians from robbing from the teachers pension funds, causing them to become underfunded and placing the blame on the people that educate our children. Stop the politicians from from delaying payments to the schools, thus causing the schools to go to the well again to pay thier own bills. As much as I love the ideals that our country was formed on, it is time to stop all the illegal people in this country from being here.
Softball Jim October 10, 2011 at 01:38 PM
There should be no way 3 complete families live in a 1500 square foot house in RL Beach. If each of those family had 2 or 3 children in tha family unit, that would be 6-9 children into the school system, and most of those are here illegal.
Sarah H. October 10, 2011 at 02:33 PM
It's obvious to me that, after watching the exchanges on this thread over the past week or so, there are a handful of folks attempting to bully dissenters into silence. BoBlue, the only people making this political are the anti-tea party commenters. I have seen no one bringing up politics besides the people who are supporting what is going on in D46. I am not a tea party supporter, however, the exchanges on this forum are extremely discouraging to me as a taxpayer in D46. People are entitled to believe what they like, and politics should not be part of an ethics argument such as this.
Sarah H. October 10, 2011 at 02:33 PM
*GoBlue, not "BoBlue" ...
Sully October 10, 2011 at 02:36 PM
SB- how do you know they are here illegally?
Sully October 10, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Sarah, the issue remains the same. These articles just provide the venue we use to express ourselves on the underlying points.
HM October 10, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Softball - even if they are not illegal, you are spot on. It is not fair to house 3 families in a single family home. That puts a burden on the schools that is not fair. Many local ordinances prohibit such living arrangements, thought the enforcement of that is difficult at best. The taxes from that small hypothetical home are not enought to educate one child, yet there are 5 or 6. And, that scenario is more common that many might think. Sully - there are a good number who ARE illegal - and say what you will, we can not afford to keep letting them come here and put such a burden on our schools/hospitals/etc. It is unfair to those of us who play by the rules, and pay our fair share. I've mentioned before, my family came here from another country, but did so legally. I'm not anti-immigration, but I feel strongly that you need to come here through the legal channels.
Sully October 10, 2011 at 02:49 PM
I agree, but why do you punish the children who are not here by any choice they made? Do you let them go uneducated, thus becoming more of a burden as adults? Do you not allow them healthcare, meaning they have to use the emergency room that is paid for through your taxes? If domestic spending were more of a priority, the schools wouldn't be overburdened.
Sarah H. October 10, 2011 at 02:55 PM
Sully, the children shouldn't be here in the first place. If the precedent is set that "if you bring your children here illegally, they cannot attend school here", people will stop bringing their children with them. When it is something that is allowed, they will do it. My husband's family is here from Thailand - LEGALLY. There are 8 children altogether, and all are naturalized citizens now. They came LEGALLY. They were educated here and are now living and thriving here, which is much more than they would be doing if they were still in Thailand. The family also paid for the naturalization, which is the proper way to go about it.
Sully October 10, 2011 at 03:06 PM
Certainly I don't disagree that legal is preferable. However, the fact is, the children ARE here. Your solution does nothing to address those that are already here. What do you do about those kids?
Sarah H. October 10, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Sully, the children shouldn't be here in the first place. They need to go back to Mexico with their parents and come back LEGALLY. That's my solution.
HM October 10, 2011 at 03:23 PM
It is a never ending cycle, until something is done to stop them from coming illegally. I tire of hearing about "the children", because that is exactly how they are playing the system. They are using their children as pawns. Trying not to be cold hearted, but we can hardly afford to take care of ourselves, and people flood into our country so we will take care of them and their many kids too. It is not right. Enforce the laws that are currently on the books and send a very clear message that coming here illegally will not be tolerated.
Sully October 10, 2011 at 04:15 PM
That's still not a solution for those already here. By "play the system" are you referring to making a better life for their children? You begrudge a parent for that? Unfortunately there is no easy answer, but we don't have to be heartless, do we? How about we spend more on helping societies (including our own) develop and less on tearing them down (through the monetary fund, war, etc.). Unfortunately people in high places seem to believe in survival of the fittest and dog eat dog.
HM October 10, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Sully - they are playing us for fools. They know that they can come here on the backs of the taxpayers, and get their basic services for free. They know they will not be turned away, despite the laws we have on the books. I work hard to make a better life for my kids too - I just do it on my own, not on the backs of anyone else. So yes, I do begrude the way many illegals do things - it's akin to stealing. There is a time and place for "helping", but there is also a time and place for establishing rules and guidelines, and abiding by them. If you think that is heartless, fine. I think it is responsible and honest. I have little respect for those who want something for nothing.
HM October 10, 2011 at 04:27 PM
And we are wayyyyyy off topic here ;)
Sully October 10, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Yep- off topic. But just one more comment. I don't think illegal immigrants are playing us for fools. I think they are looking for a means to get food on their tables.
Softball Jim October 10, 2011 at 10:12 PM
Sorry Guys, that is not the direction I wanted that disussion to go. I have no problem with those that imigrate to the USA. I would rather they come here legally. However, Sully if you think that those here illegally are not already abusing the systems that are set up, you are blind. I know first hand about some that are here illegally. I know some do everything in thier power to get what they can out of the system and we all pay for that with our taxes. The new I-9 forms that all employees are being mandated to fill out is part of the push to get those in compliance. I know a couple of employers who have had to fire thier workers or face fines. Some of those workers have worked for 10 plus years illegally. When confronted by the employer, they chose to leave a long standing/good paying job, than fill out the I-9 form. There are imigration issues in the USA and I do not think anyone denies it. Also, who do you think ends up paying when the states are now giving a discount to illegal imigrants to attend thier college? A discount that those that are here legally and those born here are not eligible to get? Who do you think pays for that? While I agree that they are looking to better themselfs, they need to do it legally. My Great Great Grandparents imigrated to the USA through N.Y., legally. Those rules still apply.
Sully October 10, 2011 at 11:08 PM
Why are you apologizing? It is a legitimate concern and there's no easy solution. We can build the fences, enforce the regulations that are in place, or try to get these people nationalized, but there still remains the fact that the children are here now. Does it do the country in the long run any good to deny them education? They will be adults someday who could either be very productive or could be a huge burden on society. Which do you prefer? I think it comes down to what kind of country do we want this to be in the future. A country that denies general human welfare and human rights? How does that make us any different than say, Saudi Arabia or other Middle Eastern countries that deny human rights?
Sarah H. October 10, 2011 at 11:38 PM
I think we can all agree that education is not a "right". The public education system was set up to educate taxpayers' children, not ALL children, no matter which country they come from. It's not fair to children who already speak English. The tax dollars spent to teach non-English speaking children take away from teaching the legal children. This isnprecisely why my children will never be in the public education system. It's a mess.
Sully October 11, 2011 at 01:59 AM
That is not correct, Sarah. When the Puritans arrived in the country, they wanted everyone to be able to read the bible, so everyone was offered education. The upper class students got a more comprehensive education while everyone else got rudimentary schooling. IIn the late 1790's education became more equal for all students (well, the white ones anyway) and then the mid 19th century saw the public school system expand a great deal. Public education in America was never intended to serve just the elite few.
Sarah H. October 11, 2011 at 03:37 AM
So now taxpayers are "elite"? You are telling me that these "Puritans" educated everyone? That is not true. There is nothing you can come up with that says that everyone received education. There was no public school system until well into the 1800s, a hundred years after this country was founded. Read some history.
Sully October 11, 2011 at 10:17 AM
Okay, but I suggest you do the same. http://www.servintfree.net/~aidmn-ejournal/publications/2001-11/PublicEducationInTheUnitedStates.html http://www.arc.org/content/view/100/53/ http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/about_the_series/program.html http://backstoryradio.org/school-days-transcript/ http://www.pbs.org/now/society/edhistory.html
Softball Jim October 11, 2011 at 01:56 PM
Sully, I do believe that education is a right for those who are here legally. Not those that are here illegally. There was an amnisesty (sp) give to illegal imigrants back in the mid 1980's From that point on those here in the USA should have had no right to get away with what they are doing. Those children that are here already, I agree we do not want them to become a burdon to society as an adult. However, they are already a burdon to schools, healthcare, and government services. Again, come here legally and all is good. Come here Illegally and I have a problem with you. Does the path to citizenship need to become easier? Maybe. I am not for excluding anyone comming her legally. But, those that come her illegally, should not have access to the same things that US citizens and those here legally do.
Sully October 11, 2011 at 03:59 PM
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. Unfortunately the world's economic systems do not allow an easy solution.
Michael April 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Lennie 'The Tugboat" Jarratt simply has a grudge with the world at large. Anyone who would deface a school this way- then try to run for politics in IL- is clearly morally flawed. All this, even after his stint at Veggie Tales...
Sarah H. April 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY (or unholy, if you prefer), LET IT GO, Michael. This article is from October. Get a life. Move on. Get some therapy. Whatever. Just stop commenting on this article.

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