Police: Des Plaines teacher physically abused four students

A Des Plaines elementary school teacher faces four misdemeanor battery charges stemming from allegations she physically abused several young students in December and January, police said Thursday.

Lai Ying T. Escobedo, 44, of the 200 block of South Lancelot Lane in Palatine, pulled students' ears, struck them in the head with a folder or fist, and pushed their heads toward the tables they sit at, students told investigators.

The children involved are a 7-year-old boy, two 7-year-old girls and an 8-year-old girl, police said. None were seriously injured, police said.

According to police, the alleged batteries took place between Dec. 21 and Jan. 11, at North Elementary School in Des Plaines. Officials in Des Plaines Elementary School District 62 were notified of the accusations at the end of the school day Jan. 11 and immediately removed Escobedo from her duties, police said.

The next day, school officials notified Des Plaines police, who investigated with assistance from the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, authorities said.

Escobedo has worked at North since August 2013 as a second grade bilingual resource teacher, District 62 officials said.

In a message sent to North Elementary families Thursday morning, District 62 Superintendent Michael Amadei wrote that Escobedo is not permitted on any district property and has had no further contact students since being removed and placed on administrative leave.

" Principal (Carolyn) Allar and her team have been providing support to the students and families directly affected by these allegations," Amadei wrote. "At this point in the investigation it is our understanding that no other students have been impacted. Should new information arise, the parent/s of any affected student will immediately be contacted."

Escobedo, who turned herself in to police and was released on an individual bond, is scheduled to appear in court April 3. The charges against her are class A misdemeanors punishable by a maximum year in jail.

A teacher at North Elementary School in Des Plaines faces misdemeanor battery charges alleging she physically abused four students, police said Thursday. Courtesy of Des Plaines District 62
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