Sunday, December 20, 2015

UNCOOL FOR SCHOOL: In A Weird Week For Local Schools, "Rumor" Of A Gun Was Just The Beginning

Last week was a strange one for Lakeview-area schools and students....

On Tuesday, the principal of Ravenswood Elementary School, 4332 N. Paulina, helped file a police report after a student reported being threatened with a handgun at a bus stop across from the school at 1701 W. Montrose.

The incident was caught on video as it happened around 5:50PM on December 10, police said. An aggravated assault with a handgun report was filed in CPD case number HY537721.

Surprise Detention

Here's another story that CPS would prefer that you not hear about. A 15-year-old who lives in the area was reported missing at 10:30PM on Thursday after he failed to return home from school. Police were told that the boy was last seen at Jones College Prep, 700 S. State, around 8:30PM.

Shortly before midnight, police figured out where the boy was. He was stuck in an elevator at Jones College Prep.

CPS security had called for a private elevator repair contractor to free the boy, but they were a little slow in passing along the info to some adults who may have been interested in his whereabouts.

We contacted three members of the CPS media office for comment on the elevator mishap early Friday morning. One was out of the office until after Christmas. The other two didn't respond. CPD missing person case HY541319.

Perception Problem

Lake View High School (Center Square Journal)
Want to see a group of strangers burst into conniption fits? Write something even remotely negative about Lake View High School.

You see, the school is the pet project for several North Side aldermen, so LVHS is now all about perception and image. And whenever anything negative pops up, a burst of similar-sounding emails and online comments rush in like white blood cells to a paper cut.

So, you have to feel for principal Scott Grens. He almost got through last week without LVHS parents learning about a rumor that someone had a gun at the school.

A couple of extra cops were on-hand to monitor dismissal on Thursday afternoon and arrival on Friday. But parents weren't notified. And, then, the fire alarm went off. Literally.

At 8:30 Friday morning, the school's fire alarms sounded after steam apparently built up in the boiler room. Students began evacuating and a good number of of them believed the alarm was related to the rumored gun on campus.

Guess what happened next? Yep! Kids texted and called their parents about the rumors and the evacuation. The parents immediately flipped out, calling the school and even turning to 911 when the school office failed to answer.


With the jig up, LVHS quickly sent a robocall to parents to inform them of additional security measures on campus that day, ABC7 reported. Then, Grens found himself putting together a six-paragraph explanation to parents who weren't too keen on the late notice.
Some students reported hearing rumors about a threat to our school. Please understand that these were only rumors. No explicit threat was ever made to Lake View High School. Nonetheless, we take these matters very seriously, which is why the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and CPS Office of Safety and Security were called, providing additional security personnel on hand at school today.
Which raises the question, if the school was confident that "only rumors" were at play, why the extra cops?

Grens never mentioned the fire alarm that sparked Friday's confusion and successfully exposed the "rumor" that LVHS apparently hoped students wouldn't talk to mom and dad about.
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  1. I don't think you understand - when Nettelhorst and other schools in the area turned around (and hopefully you'd at least admit that these turnarounds have been good for the area), perceptions are critical. And if a rumor really is a rumor, then having site such as yours jack it up to fact status instead of letting it remain at the low altitude it deserves just reverses the progress of the school - and in turn, the progress of our neighborhood. you won't print this comment anyway, but you seem to have a vendetta against LVHS. i worked on the nettelhorst turnaround and i'm glad you weren't around back then to cherrypick negative stories. we were "lucky" to have chicago magazine and some others write about the myriad good things happening among the students and community, and that created success. you seem to think you're doing a service. but what service? Grens is a gift to this area - if he leaves - and he can get an offer elsewhere in short order - then lvhs stops moving forward. i don't have a kid there, i don't really have skin in the game as it relates to lvhs, but you're about as fair and balanced as fox news when it comes to that school. and yes, i am a stranger, but i'm not in conniptions. it seems like the conniptions are a symptom manifesting mostly on your side. weird. you do so much great reporting, except on this.why? do you discuss it internally? do you want the place to change, or do you see value in poking at the place constantly? have you surfaced your motivations? or is any negative story worth printing, even if it's never counterbalanced by anything positive? i respect cwb. great work in many ways. this is just a mystery to me. and again, i'm not in conniptions, so don't preemptively position my opinion as worthless. think about this just a bit. i don't want a snipey response and i don't care if anyone else reads this. grens is an asset to the area. tunney is not. why do they get treated the same by you?

    1. I hope the curriculum at LVHS includes such things as the proper use of paragraph breaks and capitalization. Because if the above missive is any indication, these are things that are sorely lacking in our community.

    2. ::patiently waits with clipboard and pen for next conniption to arrive::

    3. anon: if you're so righteous, why post anonymously? You claim that you helped turn around area schools - why not put your name into the glorious spotlight?

    4. Everyone knows that LVHS is a gang-infested cesspool, so let's just call what trying to cover that up is: Lying.

  2. "(Y)ou're about as fair and balanced as fox news". If you want to sound like an idiot, use that line, which is a fave of seemingly every idiot in Chicago, literally millions of them.

  3. I'm with anon. Y'all do seem a little gleeful when something isn't sunny at LVHS.

  4. Hey, they just had extra cops, recall that in L.A. they shut down the entire school system on one bomb threat. Nothing wrong with calling in a few extra cops, even for a rumor. It's amazing they weren't on RAP, after all.

    1. Word.
      What's to see here? School administrators acted appropriately, teenagers were less than responsible, and some parents freaked out...

  5. This whole if you lie to everyone mentality then reality doesn't exist is so pervasive in this City and Country for that matter. Its rotting everything. Just don't talk about reality and bad things will go away right? Paleeese. Try that with maintenance around your house. Guess what happens? If you wait long enough your house will be destroyed. Talking about problems at a school is good and healthy and allows parents to deal with things. I am tired of every institution treating people like fools and idiots, to be lied to and manipulated.

  6. As a parent that lives within spitting distance of LVHS, I would love it to be an option but it simply is not one. The feeder schools are great but the student body is 70% of of area and the average ACT is 18. We do not send our kids to Blaine because of the overcrowding issues but hoped high school would turn around. We watch family after family in our neighborhood move if they cannot get into selective enrollment. Your assessment is the reality

  7. When I went to Nettlehorst in the early 80s, kids always brought guns to school. Nobody ever got shot, they needed to protect themselves because each block was a different gang.