In letters to parents, suburban principal accuses high school students of ‘gang activity’

FLOSSMOOR, Ill. — In letters sent home to parents this week, a south suburban high school principal accused dozens of students of being involved in “gang activity.”

On Saturday, Homewood-Flossmoor High School Principal Jerry Lee Anderson held mandatory meetings with those students and their parents. Some community members said the meetings left them concerned and confused.

The letters, dated Oct. 15, claim an internal school investigation revealed certain students were “directly or through association” involved in “gang activity.” Anyone who failed to attend Saturday’s mandatory meetings, the letters said, could be “excluded” from school.

Parents who spoke with WGN News said there’s no real evidence to support the accusations.

Neither the school nor the school district would comment.

“The letter was wrong,” parent Arthur Wiggins Jr. said. “It was condescending, and it was insulting.”

According to parents, the high school at 999 Kedzie Ave. in Flossmoor hosted three separate meetings Saturday. Each was attended by about 25 to 30 people. Students’ grades and behavior were discussed.

“It’s insulting because they put us all in a room together, and they absolutely violated anyone and everyone’s privacy,” said Wiggins, who received a letter claiming his 18-year-old son was involved in gang activity.

“This principal and her team of investigators went on social media and pulled pictures off of social media of these various children,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins said he believes any violent or criminal activity should be addressed by the school, but he said administrators did not involve law enforcement in its investigation.

“No, there weren’t police there,” Wiggins said. “Why wasn’t there police there? Because nothing criminal has happened. And to say they’re going to punish somebody — exclude or expel or however you want to interpret that — for a crime that hasn’t happened, is not America, even in a high school.”

Wiggins said there was no resolution or discipline that resulted from Saturday’s meetings.