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IHSA awaits district’s rules violations report

Possible violations at recent music contest still under investigation

OREGON – Rules violations in activities like music are rather uncommon, an Illinois State High School Association official said Tuesday.

“It’s much more common in sports,” said IHSA Assistant Executive Director Susie Knoblauch, who oversees matters pertaining to music.

Oregon choir teacher Mitch Lauer is on administrative leave, and school officials continue to investigate possible rules violations at a recent music contest.

“... we’re working with the IHSA to resolve any improprieties,” Superintendent Tom Mahoney said Tuesday, adding that he expects the school board to take action on the matter at its May 20 meeting.

Mahoney said in a statement last week that district officials are investigating “alleged violations” that took place at the March 2 competition at West Carroll High School in Savanna.

School officials were told that, with Lauer’s knowledge, some choir students were performing under other students’ names as a way to increase the number of events in which they could participate, the statement said.

According to IHSA records, Oregon scored 240 total points and took first place in Class B in the vocal competition.

Once the school district submits its findings, IHSA officials will determine what, if any, action they will take, Knoblauch said.

Often, she said, school officials in such situations impose their own penalties, and IHSA officials review that to determine if those penalties are appropriate.

“We’re really waiting for their report,” she said.

For now, band teacher Andy Eckardt will manage the choir program with the help of a substitute choir teacher and other staff members, Mahoney said.

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