District 161 board to revisit safety policy after assault incident

A Parker Junior High School mother described Monday how her 12-year-old daughter was assaulted at the school last month, then sent home on her own recognizance.

After that, she said, the girl showed signs of a head injury. She was examined by an orthodontist, who found damage, and was admitted to a hospital.

Now, the woman and her fiancee told the Flossmoor School District 161 Board of Education, the girl has returned to Parker and is in regular contact with the students who took part in the Dec. 12 assault.

"If this was your 12-year-old daughter, wouldn't you be coming here tonight?" the man asked.

Following a joint statement by the couple, board member Lisa Harrell asked for a review of the safety and security policy. Board President Gregg Lunceford apologized to the couple.

Board members agreed to revisit the district's policy on school safety and security. School Superintendent Craig Doster said the board could make changes to both policies and procedures.

No vote was taken on whether to pursue that course but board members indicated informally that they would move ahead with an examination of the current policies and procedures. That will take place at a future board session.

During their presentation, the couple said Parker officials  did not contact Flossmoor police following the incident. Under district policy, the school decides whether police should be called. The couple subsequently filed a report with Flossmoor police. At the station,  the fiancee said, police told them that the attack would qualify as a felony assault and battery if the assailants were not juveniles.

The district's safety and security policy is in place to deal with fighting and bullying, the couple said. "The policy was not followed," the fiancee said.

"A hit is a hit. An assault is an assault," the girl's mother said. "We just want to make sure that from this moment on, there are strict guidelines. There should be a no-hit policy."

Contact Tom Houlihan at [email protected]

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