District 58's Legislative Breakfast tackles youth mental health, school safety

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District 58 welcomed seven local and federal legislators, along with nearly 100 school and community leaders, to O'Neill Middle School for the annual Legislative Breakfast on Friday, Feb. 3. The following legislators participated in the event:

  • U.S. Rep. Sean Casten
  • U.S. Rep. Bill Foster
  • Sen. John Curran
  • Sen. Suzy Glowiak-Hilton
  • Rep. Terra Costa Howard
  • Rep. Jenn Ladisch Douglass
  • Rep. Anne Stava-Murray

Thank you, legislators and audience members, for taking the time to attend and participate in today's Legislative Forum!

The event opened with music performed by the O'Neill Chamber Strings. Board of Education Member Melissa Ellis welcomed the crowd, and Herrick and O'Neill Student Council officers introduced the legislative panel.

On a panel, the entire legislative group briefly discussed the youth mental health crisis, school safety, and opportunities for school districts and elected officials to partner on solutions. Then, the elected officials and audience members participated in two small group breakout sessions. During this time, the elected officials and audience held smaller, more casual conversations regarding education issues and legislation. Conversation topics included unfunded mandates, educational staff shortages, student behavior policies, sex education curriculum, social-emotional learning, infrastructure funding and more. The event closed with remarks from Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell.

The District 58 Board of Education's Legislative Committee annually hosts a Legislative Breakfast. The event helps elected officials better understand the issues facing District 58. Audience members included the boards of education from District 58 and surrounding communities; District 58 staff and PTA leaders; District 58 Board committee members; leaders from surrounding school districts; and local community leaders.