GLENDALE, Wis — Parents in the Glendale-River Hills School District packed a meeting Wednesday night to express concerns that the district allowed a student to enroll after being expelled from a neighboring district for allegedly making violent threats.
Parents were surprised to hear district authorities admit they made a mistake. School board members started the open meeting by saying the superintendent skipped an open enrollment policy by allowing the student to enroll without receiving school board approval. School Board Director Andrew Franklin said that student is currently not allowed to attend Glen Hills.
"The student who has currently been attending school will not be attending school until such time as the board acts to approve or not approve his open enrollment application," Franklin said.
When parents asked how the policy wasn't followed, School District Superintendent Larry Smalley said he didn't follow it.
"Open enrollment both either in January or special cases has to be approved by the board before enrollment happens," explained Smalley. "I didn’t do that, so that’s why we’re backtracking."
Parents like Lisa Wanner took their turns sharing concerns over district transparency and student safety due to this situation.
"I don’t want to bury a child. I want what’s best for the child who sounds like is suffering from some mental illness," Wanner said.
Wanner believes every child deserves an education, even those with a troubled past, but she thinks the district’s handling of this situation has tainted that opportunity here.
"I think every child needs to be supported," she said. "I think it has to do with a plan and a timeframe and I think those were ignored."
Franklin and Smalley declined our interview requests. Franklin said the board will meet next Tuesday to decide whether to allow that student to enroll.