Alyssa Donovan and Peter Curi
CHICAGO — A Chicago Public School teacher has been removed pending an investigation following allegations she threatened a student with a gun back in March.
“Every morning it’s a fight with my dad about me not wanting to go to school,” Emily Lozano said.
Lozano is a senior at George Washington High School. She shared details about an incident she says happened back in March involving one of her teachers.
“If she feels like its ok to do it to me, who knows how she’s going to do it to other kids or if she’s going to other kids,” Lonzano said.
According to Lozano, the teacher threatened her with a firearm following a disagreement they had in the classroom. The teacher allegedly brought the gun into the school in her bag.
“She pulls a gun out and she has her finger on the trigger and as she has her finger on the trigger she pulls it halfway out and says ‘I wish y’all would keep messing with me,” Lozano said. “At that point I kind of froze and I just left.”
While the alleged threat occurred months ago, Lozano just told her family about it over the weekend.
“She told us in no short words that the teacher pulled a gun on her in class and we were just floored when we heard this,” the victim’s uncle, Andrew Houston, said.
Houston filed a police report with CPD and a summons request with the assistant district attorney’s office before sitting down with the school principal.
Houston says the principal shared this incident report with him, which outlines statements Lozano made to staff at the school. The report documented incidents with the teacher dating back as far as April 14, 2023.
The first statement mentions the teacher telling her student she’d brought a gun to school.
“We’re very frustrated to say the least that not only is this allowed to happen but it’s going to continue to happen and no one is interested in doing anything about it,” Houston said.
Chicago Public Schools shared with WGN that the school’s principal sent out a letter to parents about the allegations this afternoon, stating a staff member had been removed pending an investigation.
Chicago Public Schools released the following statement:
The safety and well-being of our staff and students remains a top priority for Chicago Public Schools. The District has procedures in place to investigate allegations of staff misconduct, give proper due process to its employees, and make fair employment decisions.
As always, every incident or allegation of staff misconduct is referred to the appropriate investigative body for review, including the Office of Inspector General, the District’s Law Department, the Equal Opportunity Compliance Office, or the Office of Student Protections. Staff members are typically removed from their positions during the course of an investigation if there is any potential threat to the safety or disruption to the educational environment. CPS, just like other employers, does not share the details of personnel matters or ongoing investigations as we are committed to protecting the privacy and rights of our employees and allowing an investigation to proceed without disruption. Such investigations take time and preclude us from providing ongoing and detailed updates.
Washington High School Principal Mary Ann Fergus said the following letter was sent to parents:
“Dear Washington High School Parents and Families,
“Safety is always our top priority, which is why I must inform you of a situation that has come to light. There has been an allegation that one of our staff members behaved inappropriately. The allegation does not involve sexual misconduct. An investigation has been initiated by the District’s Law Department, and this individual has been removed during the course of the investigation. For privacy reasons, I cannot share further details.
“Based on the information learned during the investigation, a final determination will be made regarding whether it is appropriate for this individual to return to our school.
“Please know that we are taking this situation seriously and remain committed to creating a positive learning environment. You are welcome to contact me at email@example.com or (773) 535-5725 if you have any questions or concerns.
Lozano said she’s grateful that an investigation is underway. While she is graduating this coming Saturday, she was concerned for the safety of other students.
“It’s scary. It’s just really scary,” she said.
According to Chicago police, the incident happened around 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 25. The school does have metal detectors but its unclear if teachers are required to pass through them
The incident remains under investigation.