U46 says no evidence Larkin student had made online beating threat
By Emily McFarlan Miller email@example.com October 25, 2012 12:52PM
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn talks to a crowd Monday at Elgin High School prior to signing three bills. August 27, 2012 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:51AM
ELGIN — Police and School District U46 were investigating claims Thursday that a 15-year-old Larkin High School student had posted online his plans to attack a teacher Wednesday morning.
But U46 Safety Coordinator John Heiderscheidt said, “We have found no substance to the rumors and no evidence consistent to those rumors.”
“We’re always are available if somebody has something to report to us,” Heiderscheidt added.
The attack occurred during the passing period between fourth and fifth periods at 11:30 a.m. in a classroom at Larkin, 1475 Larkin Ave., according to police reports.
The student and the 51-year-old male science teacher exchanged greetings, Heiderscheidt said. Then, as the teacher was walking to the other side of the room, the boy tackled him, he said. The student brought the teacher to the ground and hit him in the face, police said.
Three or four other students in the classroom at the time “came to the aid of the teacher” and called for help, according to the safety coordinator. The school liaison officer quickly was able to subdue the attacking student, police said.
“This is a very unusual, senseless action taken by a student that shouldn’t happen,” Heiderscheidt said. “Our teacher is recovering from his injuries, and we hope to have him back to work as soon as he is able.”
The teacher, whose name has not been released, was transported Wednesday to Provena Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin, where he was treated for contusions, police said.
Meantime, the student was taken to the Illinois Youth Center near St. Charles and charged with aggravated battery to a school official, according to police reports. He was to appear before a judge at a detention hearing Thursday, although the Illinois Youth Center could not share any information about the case.
CBS Chicago had reported Wednesday night that Elgin police were investigating reports the student had told classmates online he planned to attack the teacher. But Elgin police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault said Thursday, “The police department is unaware of any of those prior postings. We are only aware of an anonymous rumor started by CBS 2 that had occurred.”
Police said the boy had no prior record, and Heiderscheidt said he couldn’t speculate “why this student decided to take this senseless act.”
“We continue to investigate and communicate with students and staff about the need for sharing information in any regard. In this case, there wasn’t any information staff had to share,” he said.
In August, Gov. Pat Quinn had signed a bill at nearby Elgin High School that allows police to share juvenile criminal records with school officials when there is an imminent threat to individuals at the school, even when that student has not been previously arrested or detained. That came after a student attacked a teacher in a classroom there in 2008, stabbing her in the head and neck with a steak knife, causing her to lose an eye.
Heiderscheidt encouraged students to always share any information that makes them feel uncomfortable with an adult at school, a parent or the police. And he said anybody with information about the attack Wednesday can call Elgin police or the U46 safety office at 847-888-5000, ext. 4263.