Fate of Charter Oak principal rests in hands of school board

By Marshanna Hester

January 13, 2014 Updated Jan 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A District 150 investigation into state testing irregularities finds Charter Oak's principal and some staff members violated protocol.

The report states several of those staff members even admitted to wrongdoing.

The board's legal counsel presented the controversial findings to another large crowd of Charter Oak parents Monday night.

She says interviewed staff members said some of their actions included reviewing student answer books after tests and blacken in answer bubbles.

The report also says principal John Wetterauer failed to give proper ISAT training to staff and did not notify the district or investigate the increase in testing scores in 2010-2011.

Parents showed their outrage and disappointment by shouting outbursts at the board, meanwhile the board tried to restore some order.

Then, there was the familiar cheering and clapping after each public comment.

Many parents feel there are too many unanswered questions, such as, what's the status of the staff members who violated the rules.

They're also pointing the finger directly at district superintendent Grenita Lathan.

"You as a superintendent are equally as responsible and should face the same, if any, or worse consequences than Mr. Wetterauer," said parent Tiffany Britt.

"You have treated our leader like a criminal," said parent Brenda Wilson. "You have investigated all the schools? If that's true, why weren't any of these other principal's put on paid administrative leave like Principal Wetterauer."

"We appreciate engagement from parents, but it's also important that you understand we are all responsible," said Lathan. "Whether it was one student or 1,000 students, if protocols and procedures were not followed, they were not followed."

Charter Oak parents demand an impartial investigation and that principal Wetterauer be allowed back to work.

As of late Monday night, the school board has yet to decide what disciplinary action it will take against Principal Wetterauer.