RANTOUL — The Rantoul City Schools board in a special meeting Monday voted 6-1 to reprimand one of its board members for allegedly recording a conversation with a teacher and others without their consent.
Board member Minore “Moto” Johnson cast the lone “no” vote in the censure vote against him.
The board said Johnson engaged in “unwarranted and unprofessional conduct” by recording the teacher without his consent.
Johnson denied recording the teacher. Nor, he said, has he recorded fellow board members and other school officials on other occasions.
In a written statement, President Andy Graham said the board had no further comment other than to say, “As a board, we look forward to moving past this situation as a whole and continuing to work hard for our students, community and dedicated employees.”
A member of the public, Dan Chamness, said at the meeting that he does not support recording someone without their knowledge but added, “in a public meeting, there is an exception.”
Chamness also said voters put Johnson on the board to speak his mind.
“You may not want him to, but the voters overwhelmingly said they do,” Chamness said.
The vote of censure alleges Johnson recorded the teacher in violation of criminal code; he admitted to recording the teacher, fellow board members and school district administrators; and his conduct violates the board’s principles and ethics of conduct.
Johnson was told not to engage in any behavior that adversely affects the district or to have contact with individual employees of the district without having the meeting prearranged and in the presence of an administrator of the district.
It also said Johnson is not to be in possession of any recording device during any meeting with Rantoul City Schools employees or administrators.
Johnson told The News-Gazette the incident began when his daughter’s teacher had phoned him to say the girl had walked out of class without permission.
His daughter has a medical condition, Johnson said, and he indicated he had informed a vice principal of that.
The vice principal indicated he would inform all of the daughter’s teachers, Johnson said.
Johnson said he did not record the conversation and was acting as a parent, not as a board member trying to unduly influence the teacher.
Johnson said he has retained an attorney and will consider his legal options.
Rantoul City Schools Education Association President Rachel Palmer and Rantoul City Schools Support Professionals Association President Candace Johnson issued written statements thanking the school board for Monday’s action.