Teacher hired in suburbs after being charged with attempted murder
CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - Angry parents confronted school leaders in Lyons Monday night after it was revealed that an attempted murder suspect has been teaching sixth grade.
The board went into closed session almost immediately and spent almost 40 minutes in closed session. The board president then made a statement saying the teacher was placed on paid administrative leave on Friday until they are able to conclude a review.
“I say shame on all of you by someone failing to do their job by hiring a potential killer…this incredibly dangerous situation put our children in immediate danger,” one parent told the school board.
The village of Lyons mayor even weighed in on the situation.
“Shame on the school board, shame on the school superintendents for failing our children, for failing our community as a whole,” Mayor Christopher Getty said.
They are fired up over the hiring of 38-year-old Andres Rodriguez. He was hired in August as a 6th grade English teacher about a year after he was charged with attempted murder. Police say he fired seven shots at a man during a Tinley Park traffic incident.
Some believe Rodriguez slipped through the cracks.
“It’s clear that they knew someone,” District 103 board member Jorge Torres said.
Torres is one of two board members who didn't agree to a closed door session Monday night, only one minute after the start of the board meeting.
State Senator Martin Sandoval says he will push for legislation to expand background checks to include not just convictions, but also pending criminal charges.
“If they were our children, what would you demand of school officials at your local school,” Sandoval said.
The state senator and other leaders have demands, including making applicants disclose all criminal activity during the hiring process and calling for the resignation of the school board president, Marge Hubacek, and the two interim superintendents who they say failed to do their jobs.
“We have to look at all the hires, we have to review we each and every one, we have to vet everybody,” Mayor Getty said.
To be clear, Rodriguez has not been convicted and will be back in court next month.
One of the board members pointed out that they do not even see the background checks or any documentation, other than the applicant’s name. They get recommendations from the principal and vote.