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Security tightened at Geneva school after parent disrupts kindergarten class

Published: Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 9:43 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — Kane County sheriff's police assigned a deputy to Mill Creek Elementary School near Geneva on Thursday after a disturbance at the school a day earlier that apparently began with a parent unhappy about how children were reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, officials said.

Geneva District 304 officials released a statement late Thursday morning explaining that a parent used "language that is not typically heard in a school setting" in the library in front of a kindergarten class. School officials called police to "minimize the disruption," according to the release.

Sheriff's Lt. Pat Gengler said the parent was volunteering at the school as afternoon kindergarten students were starting their day by saying the pledge.

Wednesday evening, the same parent emailed school board members, administrators and some parents in the community, and also posted a message on Facebook saying Mill Creek students state the Pledge of Allegiance incorrectly, claiming among other things that the children leave out the word "liberty," according to district officials.

District officials deny those claims and point out that students also recite the school's creed after the pledge. That creed promotes respect, following rules and trying your best, and is listed on the school's website.

Because of the parent's emails and the Facebook post, the district called sheriff's police again, which resulted in an increased presence Thursday. The deputy could also be stationed at the school Friday, Gengler said.

"Having an officer there is to provide some extra security," he said. "This sends a strong message to parents: We're here for the kids."

Police continue to investigate the Wednesday incident at the school, Gengler said.

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