ELMHURST, Ill. — Police in Elmhurst responded Tuesday to heated criticisms levied at York High School for its handling of an alleged bullying incident involving a student with special needs after video of the altercation circulated on social media.
Investigators say cell phone video showed the student with special needs ‘willfully engaging in wrestling behavior’ inside the school restroom with four other students. According to police, two of the teenagers are wrestling teammates of the student with special needs.
During the incident, one of the students pushed the student with special needs to the ground. No students were physically injured during the incident, police added.
Officials say they contacted Elmhurst police but the parents and the school agreed to discipline the students in-house. Despite this, some parents and students told WGN News they feel the school should have done more.
“A lot of parents are very angry cause the school tried to minimize the incident,” said Emma Gurecki, a junior at the high school. “This is a big deal. It should be known.”
In response to the bullying accusation, York High School students planned a walkout on Friday at 1 p.m.
Tuesday night’s already-schedule board meeting further addressed the alleged incident, with Elmhurst District 205 president Kara Caforio calling the recorded altercation ‘heartbreaking.’
“Bullying or violence of any type will not be tolerated,” Caforio said.
Caforio said the school district would not share the consequences against the students involved due to privacy laws but assured the public that the punishments were severe.
“There’s no question that the consequences given were both significant and reflect the full impact of their actions on our school community,” Caforio said.
Students at the school have organized a petition on change.org advocating for immediate change to school disciplinary policies and punishment for the students involved in the videos.