Chicago high school teacher accused of pulling gun on student suspended – NBC Chicago

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Chicago high school teacher accused of pulling gun on student suspended – NBC Chicago

Chicago Public Schools has suspended a Southeast Side high school teacher who allegedly threatened a student with a gun.

Emily Lozano, a student at George Washington High School, 3535 E. 114th St., alleged that the teacher harassed her for weeks after a classroom argument. She said the peak was in late February.

The teacher pulled a gun from his bag, showing the handle, and said, “I wish you would keep messing with me,” according to Lozano, 17.

They were in a classroom with only one other teacher, who later denied that happened, Lozano said.

“I literally froze. … I was in shock,” Lozano said. “I didn’t know if I should tell anyone, if anyone would believe me.”

She gained the confidence to tell school administrators about the incident a few weeks later, but said she felt the school did not take her concerns seriously.

“Three months and the school did nothing,” she said.

After Lozano told reporters about the incident, CPS sent a letter to parents Monday to say a teacher had been suspended while the district’s legal department investigated.

“Safety is always our top priority, which is why I need to inform you of a situation that has come to light. There have been allegations that one of our staff members behaved inappropriately,” Jacqueline Hearns, the school’s administrator in charge, wrote to parents, without elaborating.

Principal Barbara San-Roman is on maternity leave, a CPS spokesman said.

The CPS is following its procedures for investigating the allegations, it said in an emailed statement.

Chicago police are investigating. No one has been arrested or charged, a department spokesman said.

Fearing retribution from her teacher, Lozano didn’t tell an adult about the alleged incident until she visited her uncle last weekend in Gary, Indiana.

“I was blown away,” her uncle, Andrew Houston, said of his response to the arraignment hearing. “It scares me that someone in this leadership position would do something like this.”

Houston went to the school Monday to meet with police officers who are investigating the incident, he said.

School administrators gave him a copy of a redacted school report that detailed the interviews with Lozano.

The document, shared with the Chicago Sun-Times, shows the teacher was also accused of harassing Lozano’s friend, calling him a homophobic slur. The teacher also allegedly pushed Lozano in the school hallways and called her names.

“This is not an isolated incident,” Houston said. “This woman has a history with a number of students.”

The teacher began pressuring Lozano to tell school administrators that she had not threatened her friend, Lozano said. But Lozano said she remained “neutral,” which infuriated her teacher. That prompted the teacher to show her the gun in the classroom during lunch, she said.

Lozano said she confided in the teacher and confided in her.

“It was almost like I was trying to trick myself that it didn’t happen because I felt like I was close to that teacher,” she said. “I trusted her with everything. It was like a complete 360.”

Lozano’s father, Juan Lozano, said a security guard now follows her daughter around the school to provide protection.

The high school’s local school board voted to remove Chicago police officers from the campus in 2020. Juan Lozano said he believes if resource officers were still present, it might have deterred the teacher from acting so brazenly.

Lozano is graduating this semester and plans to attend Olive-Harvey College. She wants to be a psychiatrist or social worker.

Lozano said it was “disgusting” that she had to go public with her story for the school to investigate. She wants the teacher fired and jailed.

“She had been threatening me for months, pushing me in the hallways, spreading personal rumors about other students,” Lozano said. “She made so many people miserable.”

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