During the regular meeting of the Harrisburg school board Tuesday night a parent spoke to the board in executive session about threats she says were made to a student at Harrisburg Middle School.
That parent, Rietta Miller of Harrisburg, said, "I don't know why they put me in executive session. I didn't ask for executive session."
When the board meets in executive session the public is excluded from the proceedings.
"I'm here for what's right and what's wrong," said Miller. "I'm here to protect my daughter. They took oaths to protect and to serve the children. I didn't take an oath but I am a mother and I am here for my daughter."
"My daughter is on the basketball team here at Harrisburg Middle School. She is a starter and the highest scorer on the team. She has been playing since she was eight years old and wants to play in women's NBA," Miller said.
"The reason I am here is a series of text messages concerning my daughter (in which) one of the girls threatened my daughter. Another girl said she would load the gun.
"It was discussed at the lunch table here at Harrisburg Middle School and went on by text for two days. I think the girls involved in those texts should be expelled from this school."
Miller indicated she does not believe officials are giving her complaint the serious consideration it deserves.
"I have a copy of all those texts here on my cell phone. Mr. (Tom) DeNeal (Board President) wouldn't even read them. When I went to the Harrisburg Police they said the threat was made in Herrin and that I should take up the matter with the Herrin Police,” Miller said.
The stream of text messages took place on a night the girls basketball team was playing out of town. Some of the messages were sent while the girls were away from Harrisburg.
"Some of the other board members read the texts," she said.
Miller said another of her children was also threatened at the school.
"There was a noose found in the gym back on Feb. 15 or 16 with my son's name on it and the school board members said they hadn't even heard of the incident,” Miller said.
“They better do what's right. They better expel those kids.
"My kids are human beings and they have a right to be protected."
In other school board matters:
The board acknowledged that it had received correspondence from Columbia High School thanking it for it's treatment of an injured Columbia football player. The player was injured Nov. 3, 2012, during an IHSA Class 4A playoff game in Harrisburg. Harrisburg won the game 14-7.
Page 2 of 2 - No one from the public attended a hearing held at 8 p.m. to decide whether "to allow children of full time employees who do not reside in the District to attend Harrisburg Unit 3 Schools without the requirement to pay tuition." The board passed unanimously a resolution to allow the students to attend.