The Illinois State Board of Education upheld Barrington School District 220’s May 2018 decision to fire a math teacher after pornographic images were A Barrington High School teacher is now officially — and finally — fired from the district after he had been let go two years ago but unsuccessfully appealed to the state board of education to get his job back.

A Barrington High School teacher is now officially — and finally — fired from the district after he had been let go two years ago but unsuccessfully appealed to the state board of education to get his job back.

The Barrington School District 220 Board of Education voted at a recent meeting to terminate former math teacher Matthew Mizanin. He was found to have pornographic photos on his school district laptop while he was under investigation for “grossly unprofessional” classroom conduct, according to official state documents.

The official termination comes nearly two years after the SD220 board initially fired Mizanin in May 2018, based on charges that he “engaged in grossly unprofessional behavior and exercised extremely poor judgment,” according to the documents.

Being a tenured teacher, Mizanin filed an appeal of his termination with the Illinois State Board of Education.

Read the full story here.

A civil lawsuit seeking $25 million, filed Feb. 3, 2020 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges that a former special education teacher at Barrington Middle School – Prairie Campus sexually abused her student on school premises between 2002 and 2004.

A $25 million lawsuit was filed this month against Barrington School District 220 by a former student who alleges that he was sexually abused by one of his middle school teachers more than 30 times from 2002 to 2004.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, which was filed Feb. 3 in Cook County Circuit Court, is now 29 or 30 years old and is identified only as John Doe. According to the civil complaint, he was between the age of 12 and 14 at the time of the alleged abuse.

According to the complaint, the student has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, regularly attends therapy and “continues to suffer from emotional and psychological injuries” as a result of the alleged abuse.

The lawsuit names as defendants the school district and the estate of former teacher Susan Maylahn, who the Cook County medical examiner’s office indicates died April 21, 2014.

Read what updates the Chicago Tribune has uncovered to this previously reported story here.

Related: Lawsuit alleges abuse by former District 220 teacher – Daily Herald, 2/4/2020

Wishing Remembering Charlotte’s well at their new location in Barrington

Officials from the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce and village recently celebrated the new location of Remember Charlotte’s pizzeria at 301 W. Northwest Highway.

“This was certainly worth the wait and we are thrilled to be in our new location,” said co-owner Brian McManus Jr. McManus and his wife, Dena, launched their eatery in rented space at 205 Park Ave. in 2017 and named it for long-closed Charlotte’s Pizza, which was a Barrington institution.

The couple went on to purchase the Northwest Highway building in 2019 where Kooker’s operated for 28 years before moving in 2018. McManus, a lifelong Barrington resident, went to the original Charlotte’s every week with his family while he was growing up.

A Barrington High School student addresses the 220 Board of Education February 18, 2020

The Barrington District 220 Board of Education met earlier this week, and as is the custom, the board opened their meeting to public comment. They received only one, but it was a good one:

Well, hi, my name is (student), and I am a junior at Barrington High School, and why I’m up here right now is because I’m aware that the staff members with Barrington two two-twenty are not drug tested and there has been a lot of rumors going around about teachers that have been doing illegal drugs, not like marijuana, like cocaine and meth and stuff like that.

I mean, I been hearing it going around, and there’s been a lot of rumors and most districts drug test their staff members, and I think that’s very important because these/they’re the ones supervising the children, especially in the elementary school. That’s all I have to say.”

Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of District 220, was asked if he had any comment before moving on. After rather long (and perhaps uncomfortable) pause, Harris stated:

Um…, Quickly…, you know there is no statutory retirement, um requirements of drug test staff, uh, except for buss drivers, AND we do drug tests on certain employees in the district that do drive our district vehicles. So, um, and it’s random, and it’s administered, so just so you’re aware.”

To view recording of the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting, click here.

We don’t know if District 220 is prohibited from conducting drug testing due to the current teacher’s union contract(s). We don’t know if such testing is cost prohibitive (though it’s unlikely).

Whatever the reason, it’s inexcusable. We believe anyone employed by District 220 be subject to some form of drug testing, and the sooner this occurs, the better for all concerned.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered a state budget address Wednesday acknowledging a “challenging” picture of Illinois’ finances and offering improved funding for government services if voters adopt his graduated income-tax plan.

Pritzker’s $42 billion budget proposal would provide $1.4 billion in additional funding for schools and public safety if voters in November pass the graduated-rate proposal, which would replace the state’s constitutionally mandated flat income tax.

“As important as these investments are, we cannot responsibly spend for these priorities until we know with certainty what the state’s revenue picture will be,” Pritzker said.

The proposed constitutional amendment, Pritzker’s signature initiative, would raise an estimated $3.6 billion on an annual basis. If it is adopted by voters, Pritzker has said rates previously passed by the legislature would boost the income-tax burden on the wealthiest 3 percent of taxpayers, with the other 97 percent paying at least the same or less.

Read more here.

Just after returning to his Chicago home, Rod Blagojevich peeks from his window early Feb. 19, 2020. President Trump commuted his sentence on Tuesday. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)

With 20 minutes to spare, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich landed in Chicago the same day his 14-year prison sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump, warmly welcoming other people at O’Hare International Airport who approached with hand waves and autograph requests.

Repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home,” Blagojevich stepped off the jetway bridge and thanked Trump.

“I’m profoundly grateful to President Trump, and I will be for as long as I live,” Blagojevich told reporters. “He didn’t have to do this. He’s a Republican president. I was a Democratic governor. But he’s a man who’s not only tough and outspoken, strong, but he has a kind heart. And I’ll be forever grateful.”

The abrupt journey home began when the president announced Tuesday the notorious Chicago Democrat would be freed from federal prison following years of imploring from Blagojevich and his wife. Now 63, Blagojevich was scheduled to be released in March 2024 after being convicted of trying to sell former President Barack Obama’s Senate seat as well as shaking down the executives of a children’s hospital and the horse-racing industry for campaign contributions.

Read more here (if you can stomach more).

Detective Lana LeMons, of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, leads a rescue team down a hallway during a mass-shooting drill at Barrington High School on March 20, 2015. (Brian OMahoney / Pioneer Press)

Here’s a memory from my school days that I just can’t seem to forget.

From first grade on we were taught so-called air raid drills. We were told to duck under our desks, sit cross-legged on the floor, bend our heads down and cover our knees with our hands.

Sometimes we were told we could be in the hallway, and the older students — eighth-graders — would cover us.

This was the Atomic Age when the threat of nuclear war was a real possibility. My mother often recalled watching President Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis speech, claiming when he finished she said, “We’re with you.”

Some adults had their own bomb shelters back then. But most were like my mom, willing to go up in a flash for the idea of America.

Read the rest of Randy Blaser’s column here.

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