Bettendorf Middle School parents and guardians met Wednesday in a packed Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center to discuss student misbehavior.

The crowd heard a presentation by Superintendent Dr. Michelle Morse before they broke into small groups to talk about the issue.

The district termed the meeting a workshop. It was not open to the public or the media. “Out of respect for an open, honest work session for our Middle School parents and staff, we ask for no recording, live streaming or media at tonight’s work session,” read a sign on the door. One parent tried to record the meeting, but was told that was not allowed.  

Photo by Mike Colón

A district spokesperson told Local 4 News the presentation will be given to the general public at Thursday evening’s school board meeting.

The district arranged the workshop after a tense Bettendorf School Board meeting on May 11, when several parents and staff members spoke about issues at the school, including students roaming the halls, cursing, skipping classes, fighting and throwing food.

A school counselor who spoke at the meeting on May 11 said she will take retirement earlier than she planned because of student behavior issues.

After Wednesday’s workshop, parents seemed encouraged, but wanted to see discussion and plans turn into action.

“I think there’s still work to be done as with anything. This could be a good first step,” parent Andy Hovey said. 

Another parent, Michelle Bloomquist, wasn’t quite as optimistic. “Tonight it was brainstorming and coming up with ways to solve the problem, and I don’t know if it’s solvable, actually,” she said.

Parent James Davis would like to see more teachers and staff members of color in the school, but thought the superintendent did a good job of managing the crowd. He, too, focused on the action plan that comes from the discussion.

The board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, with a public hearing on the school district’s budget for the next fiscal year. Bettendorf Middle School is on the agenda as well. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. because of Edison graduation being held just before it.

The meeting will be held in the Ray Stensvad Board Room at the School Administration Center, 3311 18th St. To see the agenda, visit here.