Bolingbrook High School Taking Students to New Heights!

One mom's opinion on the "new" Bolingbrook High School

Tonight I attended my first parent meeting at Bolingbrook High School and all I can say is "WOW"!  New BHS principal, Mr. White, held a "meet & greet" in the library to which all parents were invited.  

Now, I've heard the rumors and horror stories about how "gangs roam the halls" at BHS and I will admit I was terrified to be sending my son into this purported hell-hole.  However, Mr. White has brought sanity to the halls a mere 10 days into the school year and I must say that I am actually excited at the opportunities my son is going to be afforded by attending Bolingbrook High School!

Mr. White has a vision for the students at BHS and that vision begins with creating an environment that encourages LEARNING.  Imagine!  A SCHOOL that focuses on EDUCATING our young men & women!  A novel idea?  Unfortunately, it seems that has been the case for far too long at the corner of Lily Cache & Schmidt.  Those days are over.

The transition to a learning environment has not been an easy one.  Mr. White admitted tonight that the first day of school was a difficult one.  Especially for those students who came face-to-face with the new "sheriff" in town.  You may be thinking that Mr. White brought with him a whole new set of rules and regulations; however, you would be mistaken.  There are no new rules...merely a new dedication to enforcing the existing rules.  

These rules are not radical.  They are not unreasonable.

  • Show up to school on time
  • Follow the dress code:  In other words, don't dress as if you are going to the beach, pull up your pants, take off your hat, etc.
  • Do your homework and bring it to class
  • Be on time to each & every class
  • Be respectful

Ten days into the school year and, out of 3,400+ students, less than 40 young men & women got the privilege of sitting down for a heart-to-heart with Mr. White today.  That number is impressive!  Oh, I'm sure there have been tears & sulking during those ten days -- change is never easy -- but to think that, in a span of less than two weeks, the atmosphere has made such an amazing transition is a testament, not only to Mr. White, but to the staff and students who make up the BHS community.

I encourage every resident of Bolingbrook to put your support behind Mr. White and the staff of BHS, but I CHALLENGE my fellow parents to get involved with the BHS community.  I know that we all lead hectic lives and money is tight, but here are a few ways I plan to help (and I hope you will, too!):

  • Volunteer!  I work full-time, as does my husband, but I pledge to dedicate at least one night each month to helping out at Bolingbrook High School.
  • Join the PTA!  This is something new that is being organized for those of us whose children are not musicians or athletes.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only parent who has no interest in joining booster clubs that do not support my child's interests.  Personally, I love music & football (GO RAIDERS!) but my son has different interests such as art and academics.
  • Talk to your kids!  Your talents might be better utilized focusing on your own child.  The most important student at BHS lives right in your home and any time you can dedicate to listening to & helping your son or daughter will go a long way toward Mr. White's vision.
  • Communicate with your child's teachers!  Did you know that you can email the teachers at BHS?  I have found, throughout the Valley View School District, that email is a wonderful way to communicate with my sons' teachers.  Whether it's a quick question or an extended concern you may have, being able to email a teacher when your schedule permits and the teachers being able to answer when their schedules permit saves a lot of time playing phone tag.

To wrap this up, I'm joining Team White and fully support the positive atmosphere Mr. White & his team have created for our 2012-2013 school year.

Go Raiders!!! 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Donna KPG September 08, 2012 at 03:25 AM
I believe we were having a civil, mature atmosphere here and I would appreciate it returning to that. If you don't have something constructive and relevant to contribute, please take it elsewhere. While, obviously, this is a public forum, I find it quite disrespectful.
Partyof5 September 08, 2012 at 03:53 AM
My daughter is in her JR year at BHS. Zero problems with her or and the school. I hear so many stories about Mr. White. "BHS Military Academy" is what I hear alot. Story after story about him.. my response is.. GOOD. Does it effect you? Are you SUFFERING? Apparently HIS way is doing something cause he has everyone talking. GO MR. WHITE! I give her the "back in the day" speech.. I went to chicago public school my entire life.. be greatful with what you have!! I cannot imagine going to this school when I was in HS. This school is NOTHING compared to ANY chicago public school! These kids need to spend a day in a chicago public HS and see how FANTASTIC this school is. STOP crying about rules!!!
mray September 08, 2012 at 04:08 AM
I support Mr. White. My daughter says the school is a much better place, and teachers are not having to disrupt HER learning experience to deal with discipline problems. All Mr. White is doing is enforcing rules that were on the books to begin with. For a long time, I thought BHS needed a Drill Sargeant (or lion tamer) because so many students were out of control. There is nothing wrong with having a disciplined atmosphere at school, call it "tough love" if you will. All of the students will have a better learning experience because of it.
Alphie Jacko September 08, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Fine, you say that now. But wait until your kid comes home crying because he got in their face screaming at them. Discipline is good but there is a way to go about it. What would you say if the teacher did it your kid? It is never ok to get in someone's face and scream at them. Is that what you want the teachers to do in the classroom?
Alphie Jacko September 08, 2012 at 09:56 PM
This would never be an issue if parents would teach their kids to behave in school. Why should teacher be forced to deal with kids that are out of control? Great, you have good kids but all kids do NOT behave at school. Parents need to take responsibility for what their kids do! Screaming at a lost freshman in the hall is not the answer!
Alphie Jacko September 08, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I guess you are ok with him yelling at a freshman on the second day of school because she was late for class. The school has over 3,000 students. Yet, he expects all of the freshman to make it to class on time the first day of school. No, they are not supposed to get lost, not one of them? Why if it was your little freshman that got lost? Chew on that!
Alphie Jacko September 08, 2012 at 10:00 PM
You need to get all the facts yourself.
Alphie Jacko September 08, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Yes, I like Mr. Whire too. But, there is a right and a wrong way to approach the students. He is the adult. Screaming at people is unprofessional. My daughter told me her friend was sitting in class when Mr. White walked in. He was displeased with the fact that the teacher was not "giving the students the answers". According to by daughter's friend, Mr. White told the teacher to "go home" in front of the students. She stated that the teacher went home and Mr. White taught the class. Now if this is true, I have a serious problem with this. Why not meet with the teacher later on a one on one basis! Why degrade the teacher or anyone? That is NOT the answer. The good kids are complaining that he is treating everyone lime a criminal. Just saying!
Donna KPG September 08, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Alphie, if that is true, then that was mis-handled. However, I am very skeptical considering the actual situation I witnessed between Mr. White and a student he was reprimanding and the feedback I've gotten from my son and others. I will definitely ask about it, though, and find out the facts.
Lettuce September 09, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Alphie, that incident you described with the teacher did not happen. It's just as bad as all the other stupid rumors flying around like Mr. White being punched by a kid and getting into a fistfight with a parent. Oh, and he patrols the hallways with dogs too, right? Please stop spreading rumors. If you were not there, don't assume the story some kid tells your child is true.
Lettuce September 09, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Agreed, Donna!
Lettuce September 09, 2012 at 12:32 AM
It didn't happen, Donna. It is just one of the many "urban myths" going around.
Alphie Jacko September 09, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Lettuce......you are not there....Do not assume.... Lots of ignorant people here. Here we go with the stereotypes again. If they are punks and future welfare parents, then you are a racist. All of you are racists. You think people of color should be treated like dogs. You are the dogs.......This venue is a waste of my time. Too many ignorant people here. We are supposed to treat people with respect. We are supposed to model the behavior. Disrespect does NOT get respect. Dahhhhhhhhhhhh....Goodbye...no more time for this place.
Alphie Jacko September 09, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Great...this is how you spend your time? Nothing better to do but to bash kids? Does your boss scream at you, in your face? No school in America should accept such behavior. We want students to behave a certain way but we can act as we please? Yes, I really need to stay away from this place. See ya...would not want to be be you in a million years. Find something else to do with all that free time you have.
Peggy Kozy, MA. September 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Just a thought on the comment about a teacher being chastised in front of her class and sent home...if this indeed happened, it would have immediately hit the press just after a complaint was filed with the Teacher's Union. Logic dictates that this is another gossip thread that will continue to be inflicted on the general public by those who are "in the know." You know...if it's in print or repeated enough, then it has to be true.
Peggy Kozy, MA. September 10, 2012 at 05:02 PM
In addition, some consideration should be given to the creation and maintenance of a safe learning environment for our children. They are all special but some need to be reminded that they are not the center of the Universe. Give him a chance to help our youth be the best that they can be because someone follows the Legal Rules in this environment.
JB September 10, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Hello, I am a teacher at BHS & I support Mr. White. Also, I have not heard other teachers speaking unkindly of him. Our hope is that Mr. White is able to have the support of the district & community. I am confident in saying your kid's teachers are a small minority.
jcgowl September 10, 2012 at 08:55 PM
My son is a Junior and this is the first year he can walk to class without battling a bunch of unruly students who block the hallways and stairwells while screaming and swearing loudly with their friends. It takes a long time to get from one class to another, since the school is so large. With the help of the security team, the new principal is seeing to it that the kids move swiftly to class and it makes it easier for everyone to get through the hallways.
Jennifer September 10, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I think the kids at BHS are in desperate need of strong leadership. My freshman and Junior there have both said that he commands a strong presence, and that he scares them a little. To that, I say good. at the same time I've told them 'he's just a human being, and he only asks that you follow the rules. if you do that, you won't even be on his radar and therefore don't need to fear him. The first time my daughter saw marijuana was in her English class freshman year. Kids walk into class 10 minutes late reeking of cigarettes and dope. how is this not a distraction? personally I'd love it if Mr. White walked the halls with two big drug sniffing german shepards on each side. reforming a student body of that size will undoubtedly take some time. My daughter is one of the students that has said 'my teacher rolls her eyes when he comes on the intercom, folds their arms and lets out a sigh' - showing a clear disrespect for their leader. sometimes things don't need to be said out loud, to make your opinion clear. I get it... it's an interruption, but isn't it an interruption to have kids walking in late to your classes? once everybody gets the hang of this newly placed order, the interruptions will be fewer. I'm Team White. He runs that school much the same way I run my house. if you fail to meet fair expectations, there are consequences. the consequences are always spelled out before hand. simple. just like the real world.
Peggy Kozy, MA. September 10, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Good for you, Jennifer. Thank you for your candor.
Grayson Williams September 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Is this a school or a prison? I would never put my child in that disrespectful and controlling environment. I have a feeling that Mr. White (Joe Clark) is going to snap one day and harm a child or teacher.
Kelly September 11, 2012 at 12:59 AM
I fully support Mr. White and his methods. Maybe this will weed out the riffraff and get that school running smoothly, then I'm sure he can and will dial it back a bit.He deserves the respect and support of his staff, and those who roll tgeir eyes etc in front of the students are indeed part of the problem! My son is a senior and is never in trouble, and i had to go to the school once this year to pick up his phone because he had it out in the passing period. An inconvenience yes but i appreciate the reasoning and assume my son will keep the phone put away all day now!
Indy September 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I find it interesting that the current superintendent of VVSD was the principal at BHS up until two years ago when he was hired for his current position. It is obvious from the comments I have read he did not do a very good job running the high school so how did he manage to get the school board to hire him as superintendent?
Jennifer September 16, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Mr. Mitchem was an outstanding principal. his own children attend VVSD schools, and his vested interest was obviously high. Losing Mr. Mitchem was unfortunate, but gaining him as a superintendent still blesses us. I have no facts to base my suspicion, but I suspect that his tenure as principal at BHS was merely a stepping stone. Or perhaps, it was just chance that the position was available. Mr. Mitchem did not fail in any way in my opinion, he simply moved up the ladder as most people good at their jobs would.
Indy September 16, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Jennifer in your post dated Sept. 10 you said that your child smelled marijuana for the first time in her Freshman English class , that you were in support of Mr. White but a school that large would take a while to reform and that the students at BHS are in desperate need of strong leadership.THis confuses me because on your Sept. 15 post says Mr. Mitchem was an outstanding principal. If that was the case how did things get so out of control. It seems impossible that the culture of the high school would have changed in the one year he has been gone.
Jennifer September 16, 2012 at 01:22 PM
well, it's not entirely impossible. do you have kids? when you give them an inch how long does it take them to push for the foot? not long in my experience. usually within a short time of being given an inch. An environment like this one can definitely morph into bad news at lightning speed. yes, there are drugs in that school... and it was the case when Mr. Mitchen was at the helm as well. But that in itself did not make him a bad principal. I think it's unfair to label him such based on that. There were drugs in my high school, which was surrounded by corn fields, there are drugs in most high schools across the country. it does not make their prinicipal's 'bad'. it is however a reflection of the student body. And since we're just speaking of my posts here, I will go on to say that my opinion and thoughts cannot be wholly summed up in a post with limited characters :) and it is possible I admit that I am leaving pieces of my opinion out. but thank you for pointing that out. I should speak more clearly. Mr. Mitchem was more diplomatic in his methods. Mr. White, is not, he doesn't give a crap what any of us think. I can still appreciate them both for their efforts, despite the fact that there is a population of students that also lack strong leadership at home. ultimately, no matter what the principal does, our kids behavior starts at home. The principal cannot change that environment. I like both principals. that's not hard to understand.
Kellyofthebrook September 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM
As a student of BHS not all the students are gang related, disrespectful jerks. Mr. White came in RIGHT AFTER Fabby Williams. I think we can all agree that he did NOTHING to help detain the already disrespectful students. Mr. White came in with an image of us as a class that STABBED people and SET THE BUILDING ON FIRE not to mention the walk-out where almost EVERY student left the building to sign a petition for Trayvon Martin. I Admit it we were bad. But this Mr. White takes it too far, I WANT to tell you that all that he does is sit in his office and call kids down.... He is everywhere. In the halls he is YELLING at kids to get to class because if they don't they'll be suspended. Over the intercom he's interrupting class telling teachers "if there is anybody with their head down or not doing their work send them to me immediately because you are here to work if you are not working you are going to get sent home for the day. " that happens 2-3 times a day. The cafeteria has officially gone haywire. It's a fire hazard they blocked of a third of the exits and they are planning to combined the A&B lunches. Also we have to sit seven to a table NO MORE THAN THAT! and they make that clear because if you don't follow that rule you get banned from the cafeteria. I am not exaggerating. BHS used to be an OK place. Now it's hell. I am scared to go to school most days because, I can't afford his stupid suspensions.
Indy September 20, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I don't think anyone should be afraid to go to school students or teachers but if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing in school ( doing your work, being respectful, etc.) you shouldn't be afraid of being suspended. I go out into the world everyday with no fear of the police or other authorities because I follow the rules and laws of the society I live in. The problem today is that too many people feel laws and rules are for other people. So here we are with children who do not feel they have to follow rules and parents who support their children not to and school has to be run like a military academy. It is all very sad.
Donna KPG September 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Agreed, Indy! If I walked out of my office to sign a petition or was consistently late or was disrespectful to my boss or refused to follow the stress code, I would expect to be reprimanded or fired. If I got called to school for my child disobeying the rules, he would not see another video game or his tablet or any other electronic for the rest of the school year. I have no fear of the police, either. I haven't even been pulled over on my 20+ years of driving. Obey the rules, things go smoothly in life.
Shorty November 21, 2012 at 09:50 PM
No once can replace or measure up even close to Mr. Mitchem - he was "just right" in regards to being a role model (first), administrator, and disciplinarian. He walked into a room and respect was given effortlessly. If someone has to walk in a room and scream at the top of his lungs to get the students attention, he should invest in a ladder.


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