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After Teen Brings A Gun To Curie High School, Concerns Rise Over Safety And Support

District officials didn't answer questions about how the teen entered the building with a weapon, since students are supposed to go through metal detectors to get into school.

A 15-year-old has since been charged with a felony after bringing a gun inside Curie High School Monday morning.
Curie High School/Facebook
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ARCHER HEIGHTS — Chicago Public Schools officials are sharing few details after a teen brought a gun into a Southwest Side high school earlier this week.

About 9:30 a.m. Monday, officers responded to a report of a 15-year-old boy with a gun inside Curie High School, 4959 S. Archer Ave., police said. No one was injured inside the school, and the teen was arrested and charged with a felony, police spokesperson Kellie Bartoli said.

CPS officials and Principal Homero Penuelas declined to answer questions about how the teen entered the school with a weapon, how officials learned of the weapon or whether it was a student who was involved. Police said the department’s report didn’t include these details.

A Curie student who spoke to Block Club on the condition of anonymity said students are required to enter the school building through a specific set of doors and pass through metal detectors. The Curie student handbook says students are supposed to enter the school through the Archer Avenue entrance.

At no point during the day Monday did Curie go on lockdown, the Curie student said. CPS officials did not respond to questions about the student’s experience.

The student’s mother, who also asked to remain anonymous, said she wasn’t alerted that a teen brought a gun to school until she received an email from school officials that was light on details that afternoon.

“Earlier today, we were made aware that a gun was in our school building,” the email read. “We immediately followed CPS protocol, secured the gun, and alerted the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and CPS Office of Safety and Security. No students or staff were injured, and everyone is safe. We are responding to this matter in accordance with CPS policy, and we will continue to work with the Office of Safety and Security and CPD to review the safety of our school.”

The Curie parent said she wished the school would’ve alerted parents sooner and taken the extra action to place the school under lockdown.

“Because then I know that if anything is out of the ordinary, they’re going to go above and beyond to take care of our students,” the parent said. “We drop our students off every morning, trusting them, putting their safety in their hands. And I just don’t think that they did right by us or the students.”

The student also said school officials didn’t directly say anything to students about the troubling incident until Tuesday afternoon, in which they encouraged students to speak up if they ever see anything strange happening around the building.

This student said the incident frustrated them and left them feeling less safe while at school.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Teachers Union said the union learned about the incident Monday, and has continued to raise the alarm on a lack of resources and professional support staff to reach teens before troubling incidents like this happen.

In 2020, Curie’s Local School Council voted 7-4 to remove school resource officers from the school.

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