EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (WLS) — Police in East Chicago, Indiana, said a teacher was in custody after allegedly telling a student she had a “kill list” for other students and staff at her school.
Police said officers were called to St. Stanislaus School at 4930 Indianapolis Blvd. Wednesday around 5 p.m. There, the principal and vice-principal told them that a student had told her counselor that her fifth-grade teacher had made remarks to them about killing herself, students, and school staff.
Police said the teacher told the student she had a list and the student was at the bottom of that list.
“I’m really scared and concerned,” said Portia Jones, the affected student. “She said she wanted to suffocate us and kill herself.”
“You really have to work at it because this is something serious,” said her father, Quiannis Jones. “She will probably never go back there.”
According to police, the teacher was immediately taken to the principal’s office, where she allegedly admitted making the statements and having a “kill list.”
Police say during this conversation the teacher named a specific student on her list but did not give the full list.
The principal sent the teacher home and told her not to return to school to conduct an investigation.
East Chicago Police said the student alerted his counselor to the teacher’s comments around 12:45 p.m., but police were not called until four hours later, after the teacher was allowed to leave.
“You should never have let her walk out the door. You should have called the police immediately. It’s a threat to the school,” said Quiannis Jones.
On Thursday morning, police took the teacher into custody without incident at her home in Griffith.
The investigation is ongoing and active, police said. No further details were released. No charges were announced against the teacher.
The principal says that due to concerns about students’ emotional health, classes will be held virtually on Fridays and advisors will be made available for students and staff.
Full Letter from the Rector of St. Stanislaus School
At approximately 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12, staff at St. Stanislaus School responded to a worrying report from a student regarding comments made by the student’s teacher. The teacher was removed from the classroom and escorted to the principal’s office, where she remained under supervision and had no further contact with students. The teacher was questioned to find out more details about the incident.After the students were safely discharged at the end of the school day, the teacher was escorted off campus and the East Chicago Police Department notified at around 4:45 p.m. When questioned, the police assured the principal that the facility was safe and that they could proceed normally with all planned learning and school events for the next school day.The welfare and safety of our Catholic students and staff is our top priority. In response to this incident, the Headteacher has switched to an e-learning environment for Friday 14th October and made resources available including access to a school counselor to support students through this difficult time. The school works closely with local authorities and the Diocese of Gary School Office to ensure that St Stanislaus students continue to have a safe and supportive environment in which to learn, grow and thrive.As we continue to navigate this unimaginable event, we are grateful to the teachers and staff who carefully and compassionately listen to students’ concerns with respect for their well-being. We thank God for the St. Stanislaus family culture that provides students with an environment where they feel safe sharing concerns and questions with teachers and staff. We thank God for guidance as the situation unfolded on Wednesday, bringing the truth to light in a way that protected all involved. We thank God for the beautiful congregation of the parish of St. Stanislaus who pray with us for the St. Stanislaus school family.If anyone has additional information or questions about this investigation, we encourage you to contact the East Chicago Police Department.
Statement of the Department of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Gary
Angelica Foy, the principal at St. Stanislaus School in East Chicago, IN, followed protocol for a crisis at her building. She has been keeping students safe, she has worked with the Office of Catholic Schools, she has alerted law enforcement and remains in touch with families and staff about the emerging situation.
With Foy’s guidance, the students stayed safe. She ensured that counseling services were available to those in need. The Gary Diocese Catholic Schools Office will continue to work with Headmistress Foy and support her as she navigates this difficult and worrying situation.
ABC7 Chicago has not named the teacher involved because she has not been charged. Students will study remotely on Friday.
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