By Marianne Mueller


Parents packed the Hononegah high school’s library on Wednesday evening, Oct. 20. 

A trailer sat in the parking lot reading, “UNMASK OUR CHILDREN. Inside signs had the same message or read, “I don’t co-parent with JB.”

Brayden Smith and Joseph Kasel received recognition for being named semi-finalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. Kasel was given extra earned credit for having the highest scoring entry in the state. Smith is working on a college essay and is ranked as the highest achieving student. Both received certificates from School Board President, Dave Kurlinkis. 

Students Keegan Johnson-Lamm and Trevor Johnson were recognized for taking heroic life saving measures. “These young men were in attendance at a football game when a Belvidere North fan took a tumble,” said HCHS Principal, Chad Dougherty.” Lamm and Johnson cleared the area, and called 911. Mr. Johnson gave her his shirt, which stopped her wound. “

“Since then I have spoken to the injured woman and she was thrilled that you were able to be there and to help her.” Both were presented with the “Good Citizenship Student Recognition award.”

Representatives from the World Language Department gave updates on current programs including a club and future plans to allow opportunities for students to learn about different cultures. Reading more was encouraged. Some of the benefits of reading were reviewed along with 35 acronyms for silent reading programs; a few examples were cited. The library has started to offer Spanish selections.

School Board President Dave Kurlinkis said, “Nobody wants to be here in these conditions; in constant turmoil.  This is a very different time in our lives; in our student’s lives. People are divided. We are finding the board having to make tough decisions; one is the ‘Back to School Plan.’” 

“We try to look into the eyes of our students every day and to make the best decisions possible. This is a very emotional time; people are at different views. Just because someone disagrees with you it doesn’t mean they are a bad person. We are all neighbors; we are all members of the same community. We all want the best for our children.”

“I couldn’t agree more with what you just said,” parent Derrick Dover said. “Some have medical or religious exemptions. Fraud has been committed, and we have a right to a religious exemption. If this is imposed to not allow these exemptions, that is a Federal offense. You are opening yourselves up to a Federal lawsuit. I do not want to form a lawsuit.”

Dover addressed children’s rights and a parent’s right to hold consent. “You are not licensed as doctors in advocating health benefits and your policy is not licensed; It is not authorized by law.” 

“This is continuous abuse in forcing them to wear a mask. Not a single study shows that this is prone to spread person to person. We don’t know the efficacy of social distancing; a community study is to be conducted. Masks should not be worn by a healthy individual. The Hononegah School Board must cease and assist and I pray for you to make good decisions.”

Kara Meiborg spoke on behalf of a math teacher who was moved to remote and was put on paid leave. “They should be here today teaching,” Meiborg said. 

“Masks and illegal quarantine of students must be stopped. They should have the same choice as every other individual. We peacefully protested, and we have not indicted violence. Fifty-three feet of my opinion is on our trailer. “It is our statement. It is a peaceful protest. This is our lawsuit.”

“It will be done when everyone stands up to say, “Enough is enough,” Gina McLaren said. “I watched my son go from a straight a student to him not wanting to go to school.” 

“Many cannot breathe in a mask. Are you happy for how those who have a 99 percent survival rate? They are testing and putting people in quarantine; that is segregation, and our kids’ civil rights are being violated along with taxpayers.  Maybe we should pull all of our kids out of here. The damage to their mental health will far outlast this virus,” McLaren added.

“We are the parents. Being mask optional should be considered for the kids,” Jennifer Hutchinson said. “Children like my son would literally suffocate with an all size fits all mandate. If you follow mandates from dirty politicians you don’t care.  We will not stop until our children our safe. Children are not dying from COVID.” 

“Spineless politicians come out when tyranny reigns. My son cannot speak and this needs to change. These masks don’t help. Do the right thing and unmask our children.”

“The true constitutional republics follow laws; JB Pritzker has not done that. “This vaccine has never been approved. Doctors and nurses sat and fought through COVID. Teachers showed up and now you are punishing them. We will not accept money. I see those pushing for this. You are spineless if you trade freedom for safety. Many teachers are pushing their views; their agendas. My kids have been singled out. I will remove my kids right now.” 

A statement was made about crowds at football games requiring no masks, yet they are required in the school.

A grandparent of three HCHS students; and a Nurse Practitioner who was a front line worker praised doctors she worked with.  

“You honored those students tonight. They never asked the woman they helped, ‘Are you vaccinated?’ Tonight when that young man received recognition he should have been able to take his mask down, so we could see his face. “

“I can tell you that the vaccine is experimental. You cannot sue a pharmaceutical company.” 

Another parent said, “My child is hard of hearing and reads lips. With masking it is impossible for them to understand those who are talking. At my company we have a sign at our desk to lower a mask and to speak clearly. In the last year and a half, God has been brought to mind and his heart speaks to mine. I don’t need to be afraid of the Corona Virus.”

“On behalf of students and educators who are hard of hearing, it would be awful not being able to understand other people.”

Edward Otta said. “I am a volunteer, and we are all on the same team. Some have exemptions. I support the right to keep health information private.”

“As a business owner, there are exploratory options. The school board is apparently condoning and supporting mandates. I am imploring you to push back against these illegal actions. This is wrong. We have to start standing up. Medical and religious exemptions are to be followed for our daughters; why not for teachers. I will not be forced to be vaccinated and have a medical exemption card. I think that all of us have had it. We are done being pushed around.”

Two female students asked that a male student who was caught red-handed taping other students be expelled.  “He is only facing suspension. Talking about it makes me feel ill to my stomach,” one of the students said. “The charge of child pornography for a minor or anyone who is under 18 is five years in jail or being put on a sex offender list. 

“Either we can be known as a school that allows predators or can do something about it. I myself don’t feel comfortable roaming these halls. This is illegal and a crime even thought they were fully clothed.”

A second student said, “We have started two petitions and have 1,053 signatures to date to expel him. If people are allowed to do this in the classrooms we don’t know that they have the photos. We would like him to be punished. This is considered sexual harassment. It is disturbing. Being recorded or having our pictures taken in the manner will not be tolerated. We have had a meeting about dress codes. Girls who were victims of this said they were wearing leggings.” 

Parent John Syrus asked, “What do you need to make this optional? “I am one parent. It would be nothing to have 3,000 people here.”

“There are opportunities for the board to discuss agenda items,” an attendee told the crowd. 

He encouraged parents to come to another school board meeting. 

“This would fall under “Policy and Public Committee. School boards are required to follow Roberts Rules of Order,” Kurlinkis said.

Madison Bunger gave the Student Council report. She spoke about actions taken by the Leo Club, Key Club and Homecoming activities. A Trunk or Treat was held were 15 clubs and organizations come together. On Oct. 28 a State level event was held. 

Athletic Director Steve Cofoid gave a report crediting all sports teams who have had great success in their seasons along with special awards. All who made Homecoming events successful were named. 

The Building and Administration report shows that 1300 hundred students participated in Homecoming activities combined. The school participated in an ALICE drill. Different scenarios were conducted along with education protocols. 

A thorough audit report was given yielding positive results. 

Supervising field testing is an action item being done. Coordination with a Rockford University Collaborative is being offered to any staff at HCHS. 

Superintendent Mike Dugan said, “We had 715 respondents on the Strategic Plan survey.”

A price quote is being obtained for tennis courts. “It has been close to 40 years since the old tennis courts were put up; generally these have a 25 year life span,” Dugan said. 

Bus contracts were also part of a community survey. The school is part of “Shield Illinois.” It was reported that there have hardly been any cases.

Kurlinkis has been named as a Representative to the Delegate Assembly.

The board approved various agenda items that need action. 

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.