Superintendents Face Demands To Resign After Hiring Teacher Charged With Attempted Murder
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Local leaders are calling for the resignation of two school superintendents in Lyons District 103, after hiring a teacher facing charges of attempted murder.
Andres Rodriguez, a sixth grade English teacher at George Washington Middle School, was placed on administrative leave last week, after the school learned of the charges against him.
Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty, parents, school board members, and state lawmakers want to know how Rodriguez slipped through the cracks during the hiring process.
Rodriguez, 39, was charged with attempted murder in July 2017 after a traffic altercation in Tinley Park. Police said Rodriguez bumped into a vehicle in the 6900 block of 173rd Place, which led to a physical fight. He then allegedly shot the victim seven times.
He has been charged with attempted murder and was released on $500,000 bail.
At the time, he worked as a teacher in Joliet, but was suspended in August 2017. Two weeks later, he was hired as a substitute teacher in Cicero--and subsequently suspended--before ending up at George Washington.
District officials have said police conducted a background check, which only reveals convictions, but not charges.
At a school board meeting Monday night, elected officials called for the resignation of the district's two interim superintendents – Patrick Patt and Robert Madonia – saying they did not do enough during the vetting process.
Getty said they also want to see the state require anyone applying for a job in public and private schools to disclose any information about previous and ongoing criminal cases.
"We must put measures in place at the state level to stop individuals who are charged with heinous crimes from working in our schools and around our children. We must provide safe educational environments at all times for our children, and we should never have our children fearing for their lives while they're in a learning environment," Getty said.
State Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) said he plans to introduce legislation that would require more comprehensive disclosure of employment history and criminal background, to include not only convictions but pending criminal charges.
"There's no room for failure, and if they were my kids or your kids in these classrooms, I know what most Illinoisans would want of their school districts and of their leadership," he said.
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