Suburban school board holds meeting amid concerns over lack of staff, student fights

District 160 teachers and parents are furious about crowded classrooms, lack of staff and numerous fights between students.

At Thursday’s school board meeting, one parent said 

"You all are a disgrace, failing kids, failing teachers, y’all should just quit," said one parent Thursday night at a school board meeting.

Other parents sounded off as well.

"Assistant Principal Brown got hurt, got jumped, there’s no security at all," another parent said.

As the school board met virtually, teachers and parents rallied outside Southwood Middle School in Country Club Hills demanding answers. Teachers with signs in hand chanted, "teachers matter, students matter, we’ve had enough."

Educators say the issues are district-wide.


District 160 includes three schools and nearly 1,500 students. At Southwood Middle School, the principal and assistant principal recently quit. They’re also down 16 staffers, which are mainly teachers.

Teachers in the district have gone without a contract for four years. The incoming salary is under $38,000.

"A district like us that has a low pay scale can’t attract talent to transform the district," one teacher said.

Another complaint at Southwood, FOX 32 is told, is there’s one special education teacher assigned to 78 students.

District 160 Superintendent Dr. Duane Meighan refused to comment on this story when reached by phone.