Teacher's discipline in district's hands; pay raises and working cash bonds approved

Published 02/11 2013 10:06PM

Updated 02/12 2013 12:23PM

Update: 10:15 pm
CHAMPAIGN -- The punishment for a school teacher who made inappropriate comments is now in the district's hands. The board voted unanimously to remedy the situation. That means they've approved letting Unit 4 administration handle his discipline.

Centennial High School teacher Randall Strunk is accused of saying something to the effect of, "If you fail the constitution test, I'll just take you in the hall and shoot you."

Students say it happened just days after the December school shooting in Connecticut. Strunk prepared a statement for the meeting and addressed board members behind closed doors to tell his side of the story.

"This was a personnel matter that we take very seriously and we took a specific action, notice to remedy which is one of the steps in the discipline process," said board president Stig Lanesskog.

He wouldn't comment on the specifics of the case, but sources say Strunk hasn't been back in class since before winter break. Lanesskog wouldn't say if Strunk will return to work Tuesday.

Support staff at Unit 4 will soon make more money, and property taxes will help fund new projects. The school board approved a 1% pay raise retroactive to July 1, 2012.

That's not all board members unanimously approved. They voted "yes" to issuing working cash bonds. That money will put a wireless internet network throughout the district and improve the transportation building.

The money comes from a property tax hike the board approved last year. The projects aren't allowed to cost more than $4,925,000.

Original: 6:15 pm

CHAMPAIGN -- The Unit 4 School Board is meeting Monday night to talk about a teacher accused of saying inappropriate things to students. The teacher was at Centennial High School.

That teacher was accused of joking about killing students in class. School Board President Stig Lanesskog said the board doesn't comment publicly on personnel matters.

"We certainly take very seriously making sure that our teachers all provide the best learning environments for our students and that's something we're really focused on," said Lanesskog.

Board members will also vote whether to continue a bond started last year. That money will be used to put a wireless internet network throughout the district and improve the transportation building.

A third issue is a negotiation with the support staff union. The board plans to talk to them about a possible increase in their salaries. The meeting started at 6 pm.

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