Alleman students demand answers regarding Assistant Principal’s dismissal

Students at Alleman High School want answers as to why their Assistant Principal, Michelle Gau, is being dismissed from her position.

Gau has been a faculty member at Alleman High School for 32 years.  When students heard she would not be returning for the next school year, they took action.

Friday, June 6, 2014, students, parents, and alumni were set to gather outside of Alleman High School to march in support of Gau.   The day before the march, several students convened at Prospect Park in Moline to draw posters that show their gratitude to Gau.

“We’re making posters for our event we are having Friday,” said Evan Thornton, a junior at Alleman High who’s the leader that rallied his fellow schoolmates together. “We want to show Ms. Gau how much she is appreciated.”

Prospect Park looked like a grassy rainbow  as students sprawled on the ground, creating more than 50 posters. Some had hearts, others shined with glitter. All of the signs were different, but students were saying the same thing.

“Ms. Gau is compassionate, dedicated and committed to her work,” one student said; and another added, “I don’t know what Alleman will do without her.”

As the students sat in their circle drawing and coloring their posters, they discussed the times they had with Gau. Memories blew through the air like a spring breeze. Some of them talked about how they heard the news.

“My mom woke me up out of bed and told me,” Thornton said.

As students began to brush fresh mowed grass of their knees and pick up their posters, they walked off as one group with one cause.

“We’re just a big Alleman family. That’s what we say at Alleman. We all kind of like to look out for each other, so when one of us is being taken away from the family, we have to protect,” Thornton said.

News 8 reached out to the Diocese of Peoria Thursday, June 5, but they didn’t return our call.

17 comments

  • ararielfett

    It’s nice to see the students rallying for the assistant principal, but most likely, whatever the reason is, it’s far beyond the student’s “need to know”.

  • John D. Hennessey

    The Freedom of Information Act should apply & we will determine why Michelle gau was dismissed. This is HORRABLE!!

  • Pokey

    What would happen if all parents unhappy with this decision, took a stand and removed their students from this school.

  • Jessica

    If the diocese teaches our kids to act like Christians then they should set a example of their teachings which is not by letting a hard working, loyal, well liked employee go who works around the clock without a reason why is not right. They should be giving her a raise in pay instead of a slap in the face .

  • Laura C.

    Jessica I agree! We can’t even begin to count the number of students she has influenced, the ways she has improved Alleman, the 100s of 1000s of pounds of food she helped raise as she championed the Student Hunger Drive efforts at Alleman every year, but let’s just look at the heart of the matter. Alleman is a Catholic school that prides itself on teaching service, loyalty, integrity, and family values to young people. Then the Diocese dismisses a loyal, hardworking employee after 32 years of service with no warning and no explanation??? Practice what you preach Diocese of Peoria!

  • david r

    Awww…poor private school parents that pay the school to not have to answer to public school regulations now want transparency. ..that’s rich…gotta love the feeling of entitlement. Hey, kids, do your march, make your posters, but know that you get what you pay for…that school can do as it pleases because that’s what you pay it to do. Duh.

  • Scottr

    David R, what does the fact that it is a private school have to do with wanting transparency? The students, parents and alumni want an explanation as to why such a valuable and loved staff member is being let go. Yes we do pay to send our kids to school but we still are entitled to answers as to why administrators are making decisions that we do not agree with.

  • Laura C.

    David R, aside from the fact that your statement makes no sense, many of their students receive scholarships or financial aid due to generous donations from community members. I did. Have some knowledge on the subject before you comment, please.

  • ararielfett

    She had no right to spread her religious beliefs around. It is not a teacher’s place to teach religion or try and force it on students. Religion SHOULD NEVER be in schools. School is about learning things you will use in life. A fairytale religious belief is not something you will use to survive every day.

    • shadylady

      Ararielfett, Read the story before you comment. This is a private Catholic school so teaching religion is part of the curriculum & the whole reason that parents send their children to this school.

      • ararielfett

        I did read, but I stand by what I said. School is for learning about important things that you need in life. Religion should never be taught in schools.

  • Scott

    Ararielfett, please stop showing your ignorance. In a public school you would be right but Ina private school, especially a faith based school, religion is an important part of the curriculum. It not only SHOULD be taught, it is one of the main reasons we send our kids to this school.
    Also, teaching religion has nothing to do with this story. She is the assistant principal and not a teacher.

  • Alexis

    As a graduate from the school I can tell you she wasn’t a religion teacher that was never her job. If the school was short staffed she helped out with algebra and was very good at it too. Before making remarks about oh poor rich kids maybe everyone should take the time to understand that not everyone there was rich. A lot of the kids who went there had financial aid help. The school assists people who want their children to grow up learning religion. Sorry that your public school education left you in the dark to that. I don’t agree with everything private schools around here do but you could atleast gather your facts before preaching your ignorant opinion. Furthermore, no matter what they do she probably will not work there again. The answers on why don’t have to be disclosed to anybody either. It’s not fair but life isn’t fair.

  • Dave

    Ararielfett, the rest of us could say the same about your non religious views and that you need to keep them to yourself. If its so awful for us to express our Christian beliefs in either public or private schools then what makes it okay for atheists or non religious people to express theirs nonstop. It works both ways Ararielfett, so you can take you anti Christian bigotry elsewhere.

  • Dave

    Also as for the topic at hand here, maybe its not exactly right that the Peoria Diocese is not revealing the reason why they dismissed her but it is their right not to release that info and at the same time they could have a good reason for doing so. She could have done something wrong. Not saying that is a fact but it is possilbe. The church is not hateful and evil like liberals make it out to be.

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