ALTON - The Alton Community Unit School District #11 Board of Education released a statement Friday afternoon regarding the students involved in physical altercations on Aug. 30 at the high school.

Superintendent Dr. Kristie Baumgartner shared that the Board concluded their student disciplinary hearings on Friday, Sept. 22. The district announced that 20 students have been expelled and 16 additional students “were administered lengthy suspensions” as a result of the fights last month.

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“The Board of Education and administration stand united in ensuring our school environments remain safe and free from disruptions to teaching and learning,” said Board President David Lauschke. “We have and will continue to treat any matters of this nature both seriously and expeditiously on behalf of our students and staff who deserve no less.”

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The student disciplinary hearings began on Monday, Sept. 18, with 25 hearings scheduled throughout the week. Hearings were conducted following the district’s policies and the applicable Illinois State Statutes (105 ILCS5/10-22.6), which outline how schools must handle disciplinary matters of expulsion or suspension.

On Aug. 30, Alton High School was put on soft lockdown following multiple student fights on school grounds. School officials implemented virtual learning for a few days and placed restrictions on student attendance at athletic events. When students returned to in-person classes on Sept. 6, they were met with new policies and procedures, including concealed weapons detection systems and an increased law enforcement presence on campus.

In Friday’s statement, the district referred to the fights as “disturbing and unfortunate.”

The Board has said multiple times that they cannot and will not comment on specific students or student disciplinary matters, as this information is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

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