Country Club Hills middle school teachers concerned over staff shortage, fights amongst students

Educators at Southwood Middle School in suburban Country Club Hills claim the school is in very bad shape and that they need help.

Issues at the school range from staff shortages to ongoing fights amongst students.

Some teachers told FOX 32 they didn’t want their faces shown in fear of retaliation, but said they must speak out.

According to teachers, the Principal at Southwood Middle School quit in August, an assistant principal quit last Friday and a second assistant principal suffered a concussion after breaking up a recent fight between students.

The fall semester in District 160 resumed Aug. 23, and they’re short at least 16 staffers, mainly teachers.


Teachers said the biggest issue is the overcrowding in the school, with more than 30 students in classrooms at a time and no way for them to socially distance.

Larnell Foster has three children enrolled. They are all in special education classes.

 "It's too many kids in one classroom. How can you distance 25 to 30 kids in one classroom?" said Foster.

 An Assistant Principal quit Friday, fearing for his health and safety.

"I have health conditions, I’m concerned about overcrowding because of health issues," said the assistant principal.

District 160 teachers said they are burnt out, and have gone four years without a contract and pay increase.

Teachers told FOX 32 the starting salary is under $40,000, and at Southwood, there is only one Special Ed teacher for 78 students.

Dr. Duane Meighan said he had no comment when asked about the teachers and parents claims.

A school board meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m.