Posted Online: April 18, 2013, 9:44 pm

Moline schools hold closed session on board procedures, ethics

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By Kevin Smith, ksmith@qconline.com

Moline school officials, following a closed session Thursday, declined to discuss the details surrounding a teacher placed on administrative leave over a month ago.

On March 6, Butterworth Elementary Schooladministratorsallegedly told fourth-grade teacher Rolonda Cabel she was being placed on paid leave, according to her attorney, Matt Pappas. Ms. Cabel, a14-year member of the Moline School District, has not received an explanation, her attorney said earlier this month.

"I just can't give any information or specifics at all," Moline superintendent Dave Moyer said Thursday of the personnel issue. He declined to verify any of the details of Ms. Cabel's absence.

"I cannot, and nobody on the district has commented on it," he said.

The board, during the special closed session, was scheduled to discuss a self-evaluation of board procedures and professional ethics. No discussion was to take place regarding the personnel matter, and no action was taken by the board, Mr. Moyer said.

Anticipating a discussion on Ms. Cabel, fellow Butterworth teacher Julie Adams attended the meeting to support her friend and keep informed, she said.

"I was hoping something would be disclosed tonight," said Ms. Adams, who said teachers are worried and confused because they have heard nothing from the district about the issue.

"It's very sad," Ms. Adams said. "The whole thing is sad."

Mr. Moyer said the district may eventually release a statement on the personnel matter, but it had no current plans to do so.

Earlier this month, Mr. Pappas said the only information he and Ms. Cabel have received was from third parties, claiming her leave was prompted by allegations she helped students cheat on Illinois Standard Achievement Tests administered the Monday before her dismissal. He said his client had no motive to do so because she receives no financial or employment benefits based on student performance on the tests.