A special school district meeting to discuss a variety of issues related to bullying and hazing reports at Maine West High School in Des Plaines will be held in Park Ridge on Thursday. Maine Township High School District 207 Board of Education voted in favor of initiating the dismissal process on one coach, Michael DiVincenzo, named in a lawsuit filed by four families of current or former students in November at a meeting in December, and other administrators, coaches and district employees are named in the complaint.
Listed on the agenda for the closed session portion of the special board meeting, announced by D-207 on Tuesday, are matters related to individual students, appointment, employment, compensation, performance, discipline or dismissal of specific employees and legal counsel and pending litigation.
The board is then scheduled to take action on employee discipline matters during the open session portion of the meeting, according to the agenda. David Beery, D-207 spokesperson, said while he did not know whether or not there would be disciplinary action, the discussion was related to the investigation into bullying and hazing.
“I don’t know what direction the board will go, but that line item is, but that discussion by the board is related to the Maine West investigation,” Beery said.
Board members are also expected to discuss hiring an attorney to serve as an independent investigator into the bullying and hazing reports, Beery said, and the board may announce its hiring of a consultant to manage focus groups about hazing at D-207’s three high schools.
The independent investigator and focus groups were part of a list of action items D-207 previously stated it would take to address bullying and hazing. Also part of that list was a hotline for students and faculty to report abuse. Beery said the district was not ready to announce the hotline yet, but they were working with a vendor, SchoolMessenger, to set it up.
“We’ve had a couple of meetings and we’re getting prepared for that,” Beery said.
Subpoenas sent earlier this month by a grand jury were related to the Cook County State's Attorney's investigation into whether D-207 violated its reporting obligations related to the bullying and hazing allegations.