Pekin woman: Be at District 150 meeting Monday

DeWayne Bartels

It's been awhile since I've posted to my blog but the phone call about the possible closure of Peoria High I just had cried out for this post.

A Pekin woman called me. She is a Peoria Central High School graduate.

She would not give her name.

She wanted me to get the word out that people from all over the Greater Peoria Area - Bartonville, Pekin, Morton, Washington, Dunlap, East Peoria - need to be at Monday's District 150 School Board meeting. Residents from all these communities need to be present to tell the board that closing Central is a bad idea.

Woodruff, she said, is full of gang members. If parents are forced to send their kids to Woodruff they will move to North Peoria or surrounding cities. This mass exodus from Peoria is something the residents of these other communities have to be prepared for. 

But, at the same time, she also wants the school district to consider scrapping the Glen Oak School project, closing all the high schools and creating just one large centralized high school for all Peoria students. Or, consider closing Manual, Central and Woodruff, expanding Richwoods onto Expo Gardens property and moving all Peoria high school students there. 

Of course, that would move all those alleged gang members from Woodruff she spoke of in with the kids now at Richwoods, I said. That might cause those parents to move.

No, she said, the answer is camera's and metal detectors.

I told her I'd get her message out. She needs help getting it out because she won't be at the meeting. Her reasoning is what really made me decide to post this.

"There's lots of blacks over there by the administration building," she told me. "There's lots of gang-members over there. I don't want to get shot."

I was born and raised in Pekin. This kind of mentality makes me proud to now call Peoria home.