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By Devin Rose
The principal of St. Luke Parish School in River Forest announced her resignation this month after more than 20 years, but some believe she was pushed out by hostile parents who verbally attacked her at a meeting in February.
In a March 15 letter to families posted on the school's website, Barbara Rasinski said she will continue her job as principal until June 30, "at which time I will close my door one final time and open a new one." She has been with the school for 23 years, the letter said, and the last three have been difficult because of the illness and subsequent death of her husband.
"It has made me take a step back and look at my life, and I have learned that change is good, for me personally, and for St. Luke," Rasinski said in the letter.
But two parents who could be reached for comment Friday said Rasinski was forced out by other parents who did not believe she was doing enough to stop bullying in one classroom.
The February meeting was scheduled after there were reports of bullying between boys and girls in a seventh-grade classroom. The two parents, who did not want to be named, said it seemed there was a group of girls who continuously tried to get the boys, who made up less than half the class, into trouble. Some parents who attended thought there were students who should be kicked out of the school.
"Everyone just made a big deal about something that goes on in any school in any grade," one of the two parents said. "It was just kids being kids."
There were about a dozen parents at the meeting, and some had harsh words for Rasinski.
"I wish there was more we could've done to be on her side," the parent said.
After the meeting, parents got an email from the school's pastor, Rev. Ken Fischer, saying Rasinski was going to resign.
Attempts to reach Rasinski and Fischer were unsuccessful last week.
Rasinski's letter said a committee has been formed to select a new principal, which will take about two months.
Answer Book 2017
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