Palatine police called to Fremd after student confrontation over masks

Palatine police were called to Fremd High School Monday morning following a confrontation between students in a classroom regarding the wearing of masks in the building.

A woman later told the Daily Herald her daughter had been confronted by a knife-wielding student just before the start of her second-period class. The girl believed she'd been targeted for being the only student without a mask in the classroom, her mother said.

The confrontation ended with the girl running for the assistance of the teacher near the door, the mother added.

Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 officials said the classroom teacher acted swiftly to prevent the situation from escalating and immediately notified administrators, who contacted the police.

Palatine police declined to comment on their ongoing investigation, other than that there's no continuing threat to the public.

District 211 Director of Communications Erin Holmes said the school has communicated to the parents of all students in the classroom at the time, and that the safety and security of students and staff is a top priority of the district.

The confrontation occurred on the first day District 211 made masks optional for students, following a downstate judge's ruling effectively lifting the state's school mask mandate.

"We are grateful for the thousands of students and staff who respected each other's masking decision and are engaging in a successful and productive school day," Holmes said in a written statement. "We are reiterating the importance of mutual respect as we continue to navigate changing directives."

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