ALTON, Ill. – As many as 21 students at Alton High School face disciplinary hearings on their future at the school after a series of fights broke out Aug. 30, causing the campus to go into a soft lockdown.

The school reverted to remote learning for a few days, set new protocols for football game attendance, and installed new electronic security measures.

“With them taking immediate action, it definitely made me feel better as a parent,” parent Constance Slack said.  

On Monday, school board members began holding the first of a weeklong set of meetings.

“As a former school board member, I don’t envy the decisions the Alton School Board has to make concerning the expulsion of students,” said Alton Mayor David Goins, a former member of the school board.

Following Monday’s hearings, five students were expelled and told they could enroll in the Madison County Regional Office of Education’s Alternative Schooling Program.

“Hopefully, they can get back in school and get their priorities straight,” Alton High School senior Keion Lacey said.  

Goins understands the weight of the decisions facing the school board members.

“Anytime you have to expel students from school, that’s not a good thing. We understand there are consequences and ramifications to a student’s actions,” he said. “But when it has to go to expulsion, that’s really a gut-wrenching decision that I had to make as a school board member, and that they have to make now.”

The disciplinary hearings are scheduled after school every half hour through Thursday of this week.

“We solicit prayers because of these tough decisions,” Goins said. “Not just for the school officials, but also prayers for the families and students that will be impacted by the decisions that will be made by the school board.”

“I’m confident that the staff will get the issue under control moving forward,” Slack added.