A National Scandal Hits District 87 – Cities 92.9

a-national-scandal-hits-district-87-–-cities-92.9

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The F.B.I. has been taking heat for tracking “threats” against school administrators, teachers and board members made by parents as part of the Justice Department’s effort to deal with parents attending board meetings to discuss Critical Race Theory, mask mandates and Comprehensive Sex Education.
An Arizona school board is under fire for keeping a dossier on 47 parents complete with Social Security numbers, background checks, a divorce paper, mortgage documents, trade certifications, and even screenshots of parents’ social media posts.
Through recent discovery, Cities has found the Superintendent, some teachers and staff members of District 87 and an Illinois State professor have been exchanging emails in advance of board meetings. Some emails were identifying parents and using their social media posts to prepare students to speak on controversial issues like: Mask Mandates, Critical Race Theory and Comprehensive Sex Education. 

Political Hit Video Used Against Parents
A former school board candidate was fired from his place of employment due to a political campaign video produced and featuring D87 students, in which many are in affiliation with an extra curricular program known as Liberation Colorized. This program is a student club, under the umbrella group Beacons of Light, led by BHS staff members, Brandon Thornton, Rachel Eaton and Jessica Nichols.  
Through email discovery, these same students coordinated with D87 employees to speak in defense of The 1619 project and CRT/DEI and Comprehensive Sex Ed.  
According to one parent, the Superintendent of D87 Barry Reilly, used this video in an attempt to get her fired. He contacted her employer twice this year. Reilly first placed a phone call to her direct supervisor and then requested a zoom meeting with her upper management to play the same political- campaign video. She feels she was targeted by Reilly because she sat by the former school board candidate featured in the video at a June school board meeting.  
The parent was told by her employer that the point of the zoom meeting was to show them that she aligned with people who were causing hardships for the district. Reilly apparently also said to her employer that she was ‘making veiled threats’ while speaking against D87’s mask mandate.
According to this parent, the employer said they weren’t bothered by her doing her civic duty during her own time and they encouraged free speech. 
Local Government Connections With D87
Jenn Carrillo, known locally as a radical socialist, was a sitting councilwoman when featured in a local news article for sharing the same video…however her affiliation with Liberation Colorized is still unknown. 
Carrillo and members of the Democratic Socialists of America have social media relationships with these students featured in the video. 
Mclean County board member Shayna Watchinski, who runs the Facebook page ‘Bloomington Deserves Better Than This Guy,’ was the first content distributor of the video. It is not yet known where Watchinski got the video. 
Illinois State University Connections with D87
In an email, D87 staff member Kelly Schrems reached out to an Illinois State professor about the “events planned” for a June school board meeting.
In the email to the public university professor Andrew Hartman, Schrems states: “I thought you’d be interested in the events planned to occur at the D87 board meeting tonight….I figured you’d be interested to know and maybe be a voice involved in the discussions. There is an attempt to get as much community support as possible.”
Hartman, in reply stated: “Crazy this right-wing campaign against CRT is now local. Unfortunately I can’t make it tonight but wish you all well in contesting the nuttiness.”
Cities has extracted screenshots of social media posts made by parents sent over email back and forth between Mary Aplington to Jessica Nichols, who works in the foreign language department, and Julia Perez the Director of Communications for D87 schools.
Perez stated in her email, which contained a screenshot of a school board meeting attendee’s Facebook post, “I hate sharing this kind of thing, but here is some context for what we can expect from speakers.”
In reply Mary Aplington stated, “Thank you, Julia. It’s really helpful to have this context, disgusting though it is.”
Aplington, Education co-chair for ‘Not in Our Town,’ then stated “I have a question from a student who is willing to speak and interested in more information and talking points supporting D87 and CRT, 1619 Project.” 
Following that reply Julia Perez, the Communication Director, stated: “Dr. Reilly might be best to answer any of those student’s questions…I’m sure he’d be happy to help.” 
Reilly told Cities that CRT was not taught at the level of high school or elementary-aged children.
“Critical Race Theory, I think there is confusion on where it is actually taught, that’s actually taught at the university level and in the training of teachers. I think some people think that that is taught directly to kids and that isn’t the case,” said Reilly in May of 2021. 
Ahead of a June board meeting, a discussion among parents on Facebook suggested Critical Race Theory is racist. Several parents commented on the social media post and the comments suggested they were planning to speak on CRT and it’s divisive ideology. These posts were shared consistently throughout D87 employees’ emails. 
Also within D87 employee emails, it was found that teachers and staff were preparing to defend over sexualization of kids, being the new Comprehensive Sex Education bill (SB818) having just passed the house.
A Special Ed Teacher Aide Transferred Post-Board Meeting  
Kandice Reeves, who works in the special education department, has email correspondence about a zoom link regarding this Facebook post made by a parent who attended the D87 board meeting. 
Associate principal Sally Kelly included Tim Moore, the BHS principal, D87’s Leslie Hanson and Courtney Marks in an email with a zoom link with the email subject line reading: “Fb post.”
Within this screenshot, of a parent’s Facebook post, a D87 Special Education teacher’s aide was talked about and her statement to the board was featured. Her statement can be found here. 
This Special Education teacher’s aide spoke at the board meeting and has since then transferred from her school (BHS) to another D87 school, Washington.
Kelly, in the same email chain, emailed Moore stating, “Remind me to fill you in on my convo with Reeves this morning.”
It has been reported to Cities that D87 staff was reminded via email that their emails can be FOIA’d, also there is a massive disclaimer at the bottom of all D87 emails.
D87 staff and administration has compiled social media posts and names of those parents attending meetings. 
If Reilly’s position were to be terminated the Superintendent’s pension could be at stake. That pension is based on his annual salary which was $245,000 per year in 2018, equalling a pension of $15,000 per month once he retires.

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