Parents complain about Kaneland teacher's actions to break up fight

Updated 2/12/2019 10:25 PM

Two families say a Kaneland High School teacher mishandled their sons when she pulled them by their hair as teachers broke up a fight last Thursday.

"She should be in just as much trouble as the kids," said Holly Samples, whose 14-year-old son entered the fray to defend a friend.


"There is no 'heat of the moment.' You are a teacher. You are supposed to know what to do," said Gabriel Figueroa, whose 14-year-old son also was involved. Figueroa said his son also was trying to help a friend.

A student at the Maple Park school recorded part of the fight on a smartphone and sent it to media outlets, including the Daily Herald.

The video shows a melee in a school hallway. All the youths involved appear to be boys. Employees broke up the fight. A woman can be seen grabbing Samples' son by what seems to be his hair and shirt, pulling him away and twisting him down to the ground. She then approached the other fighters and pulled Figueroa's son away, grabbing his hair, while yelling "Stop it! I will hurt you!"

Samples said she and her son's father complained about the teacher to Kaneland authorities, but feel nothing is being done about it. Her son filed a report Tuesday with the Kane County Sheriff's Office, she said. Samples noted at least two other employees intervened in the fight. "I expect a teacher to step in and stop it (the fight). Neither one of them (the other employees) were grabbing them by the hair," Samples said.

"I can't comment on any specific student or personnel matters. However, the district's practice is to investigate all complaints. The district aims to maintain a safe learning environment for all students and staff," said Shana Sparber, president of the Kaneland school board.

Meanwhile, sheriff's deputies were called to Kaneland Monday night when Sheriff Ron Hain said two of the students who had been suspended over their involvement in the fight refused employees' orders to leave school grounds after being told they couldn't attend a basketball game.

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