EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – The East St. Louis boys’ track team was reinstated by the school board Monday morning, reversing a previous decision by the district superintendent. However, that might not be the end of the matter.
Student, athletes, and supporters gathered at the District Administrative Offices in East St. Louis morning as a last-ditch effort to save their track season. Monday was the last chance for the decision to be reversed for students to be able to participate in the state championships.
Lawyers representing one of the students on the East St. Louis High School track team have sent a letter to the school district Monday morning. Raymond Mix III hired Sandifer-Purchase Attorneys at Law to submit a statement to East St. Louis School District 189. The letter says the district is violating the student’s code of conduct by canceling the track season. No students were allowed due process as outlined in the student handbook. Read the entire letter here.
The boys’ team’s season was surrendered after a fight broke out between students and athletes at East St. Louis High School. The junior varsity team had just completed a relay when the altercation began in the stands near the finish line and the fight quickly escalated. The fight forced officials to postpone the meet.
While many parents and students were upset about the decision, the district said it hoped this will be a learning experience for all students and athletes.
The team said only three members were involved in the brawl and upset the entire 40-person team was being punished and wouldn't be allowed to attend the state championship meet.
According to East St. Louis School Board President Kinnis Williams Sr., whenever there is a disagreement between the district superintendent and the school board, the Illinois state superintendent typically has the final say.
Students staged a walkout to district headquarters last Friday.