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Westmont Hilltop School Board Meeting

Westmont Hilltop School District held its first school board meeting Tonight since a juvenile was arrested for threatening the district.

While that incident wasn’t a line item on the agenda it was certainly discussed.

Sean Eiler has more from Tonight’s meeting.

It wasnt long after the Pledge Of Allegiance for a debate over safety.

“You are going to let me talk”

“You doing what you’re doing is nothing but grand standing”

“$20,000 that was not in the budget was spent on security.”

Westmont Hilltop School Board member Dr. Kamal Gella attempting to make an emergency motion to move money from the district’s recreation accountto help cover the 20-thousand dollars he said the district was billed
for extra safety measure’s following threats made against the district earlier this month.

No other board members seconded that motion…citing a fund with roughly 6 million dollars in it.

“There’s like a rainy day fund, we have an emergency fund for things. That’s what we have it for, for these emergencies that come up.”

While there seems to be enough of money to go around parents are frustrated with what they say is a lack of communication

“I want the dirty, ugly truth. Not a damn PDF that tells me at 10:27 to come pick up my kids and then your staff is rude.”

“My career has made me understand there are things you can’t report to the public. But as a parent, not having any information other than an email , or something vague, is scary.”

“You guys had the information, that these measures have been put into place to comfort you. We didn’t have that.”

While the board members we spoke to declined to comment on safety measures Superintendent Tom Mitchell outlined in his adminstrative report

More than 300 thousand dollars in state funding that he says will go toward improving safety…like alarms at the elementary and secondary schools secure pods within each building…and funding the school police officer program

“Listening to what you said tonight calmed me a little bit. Knowing at least something is being done.”

“If we can work together more, whatever needs to be done to do that, I am willing to do and I can guarantee the parents are willing to do.”

One of the board members cited a lack of attendance from the public at the “safe schools committee” meetings. He says the next one is March 7th at 4pm.

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