Archive for Thursday, February 2, 2006

Channel 9 news takes look at BHS hire

February 2, 2006

Responding to an article on the Internet, KMBC's Channel 9 news came to Baldwin City Monday to investigate about the convicted felon that was hired at Baldwin High School.

KMBC's Marcus Moore came to town Monday afternoon looking for people to talk with.

"They called yesterday afternoon and said they were coming down," Supt. James White said Tuesday. "They said they had picked up something about this issue off the Internet."

The phone call shocked White, who thought there was probably more important news to cover.

"I was really surprised," White said. "It must have been a slow news day if they don't have any other news than to come to Baldwin and talk about personnel issues at the school district."

After Moore chatted with White, he then headed to BHS to find more information.

"Mike Curran called and said there was a KMBC reporter at the high school," White said.

While in town, Moore also talked with residents Coleen Burgess and Lotta Falkengren Knowles.

The segment aired at 10 p.m. on KMBC news and White was referred to as Jim Smith. White said he didn't watch the segment and joked about his name being wrong.

"When you have those common names, you just get them mixed up," White said jokingly.

The BHS janitor was hired by the school as head janitor but has never officially been approved by the school board. She has been working at BHS since being recommended by the high school administration.

White said the janitor is still working at BHS and will continue to unless the school board decides different at its Feb. 13 meeting.

"The situation hasn't changed," White said. "The board will be reviewing personnel information at the next regular board meeting. As always, they will make a decision on the personnel."

Many district employees and patrons have expressed outrage over the hiring of someone who served time for stealing $110,000 from an elderly Lawrence couple in 2003. Others have stated that giving someone a second chance is OK, but maybe not in a position where a master key to all rooms is involved.

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