Former Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Board member Yvonne Mayer said she is seeking to have fair play enacted with her complaint to the district, asking that fellow former board member Sarah Lewensohn be taken off the district’s Finance Committee.
Mayer said Lewensohn threw a bottle of water at her during an April 22 closed session, hitting her in the arm and causing red marks on her skin.
Lewensohn would not confirm that she threw the bottle of water at Mayer, but did say, “I lost my temper and for that I am very sorry. I can’t believe that (Mayer) thinks I pose a threat. I would hope that she would find something more constructive to focus on.”
Burr Ridge police said that Mayer came into the station at 10:28 p.m. April 22 and talked to a police officer about filing an order of protection. Mayer said she opted to not pursue that option because it required her to press criminal charges against Lewensohn, something she preferred not to do.
Because of the alleged incident, Mayer wants Lewensohn to be taken off District 181’s Finance Committee. Mayer said she filed a complaint Aug. 28 with the district, seeking such action.
“I learned over the summer that Sarah had been appointed to the Finance Committee by (Superintendent Renee) Schuster,” Mayer said.
Mayer said Lewensohn’s throwing of the water bottle at her violated a District 181 policy regarding conduct on school property.
The policy states that no person on school property or at a school-sponsored activity or event shall strike, injure, threaten, harass, or intimidate a staff member, board member, sports official or coach, or any other person. Anyone found in violation of the policy may be denied admission to school events or meetings for up to one calendar year. The policy doesn’t require any sanctions.
“I realized that this policy applied to what happened,” Mayer said.
Mayer said she was moved to file her complaint after learning Schuster had quoted the same district conduct policy to two community members in two other situations. No reported action has been taken against Lewensohn or anyone else for a violation of the conduct policy.
Schuster had no comment about the April 22 incident or Mayer’s request for the removal of Lewensohn from the Finance Committee, saying the matter was confidential. Board President Marty Turek also declined comment.
Unhappy that Schuster issued no sanctions against Lewensohn, Mayer wanted to appeal that decision to the board during a public hearing. The board at its Oct. 28 meeting denied that request, but didn’t rule out the possibility for a future hearing.
The board also denied Mayer’s request for a copy of the investigative report completed on the matter by a District 181 attorney and a copy of the audiotape recorded during the April 22 closed session.
Mayer’s request that board members who were at the April 22 closed session recuse themselves from any future votes on the matter also was rejected by the board.
A board vote on Mayer’s appeal of Schuster’s decision likely would be done at the board’s Nov. 18 meeting.