ALTON - Student disciplinary hearings will begin this week for students who were involved in last month’s altercations at Alton High School.

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.

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Today, Sept. 18, the Alton Community Unit School District #11 Board of Education will begin disciplinary hearings for students who were involved in the altercations. Several Special Board of Education Meetings are scheduled this week “to conduct closed sessions for the purpose of student discipline hearings,” according to a public notice.

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Each meeting will begin in open session with the approval of the agenda and a chance for citizens to speak. The Board will then go into closed session for the hearing itself, during which they will explain the procedures, review the hearing officer’s report, and question the administration and the student’s guardian. The guardian will then have an opportunity to address the Board.

After this, the Board will excuse the student and guardian so it can deliberate and reach “a consensus as to the violation of school rules.” When the student and guardian return, the Board will announce its decision and “consider punishment,” with input from the administration and the guardian. The Board will again excuse the student and guardian to deliberate the punishment, then return to an open session to resolve the hearing.

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, the Board will conduct six 30-minute student disciplinary hearings. Three more hearings are scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 19, before the Regular Board of Education meeting at 6 p.m. Additional hearings will likely be announced over the next few days.

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

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