DOLTON – Members of the Faculty Association of District 205 (FAD205), the union representing Thornton, Thornwood and Thornridge High School educators, were denied the opportunity to speak at the District 205 School Board Meeting this evening. FAD205 President Dwayne Bearden requested to speak, so he could call for changes to help address a recent spike in violence at the schools.

“We cannot normalize this behavior. This is not business as usual. We’ve had a shooting in the parking lot, students bringing weapons to school, student on student violence and student on educator violence. Our students and our staff are not safe right now. We need to address this immediately,” Bearden said.

FAD205 is calling for three changes to help address the violence issues:

  • Enhanced safety measures, including installing metal detectors, installing new fencing, effective bag checks and updated student and staff identification cards;
  • Clear and transparent communication from district administration about violent incidents and how they’re being addressed;
  • Student accountability.

“It’s hard to say what’s causing the increase in violence, but it is possible the pandemic had something to do with it,” Bearden said. “COVID has certainly caused increased stress and trauma for our students. We need to be doing everything in our power to help ease that burden.”

FAD205 represents over 450 teachers, deans, counselors, librarians, social workers, psychologists, speech therapists and nurses that work at the three high schools in District 205.

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At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.