Hallway Headlines: March 2022

Nathan Yuan and Noah Rozek

Chicago police officer charged with the murder of Laquan Macdonald will not face federal charges

A former Chicago officer charged with the murder of Laquan Macdonald following a shooting in 2014 will not face federal charges.

The bar to convict for federal charges is deemed higher than state charges in the context of police brutality. In a statement on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said that, after consulting with Mr. McDonald’s family decided not to charge the former officer, Jason Van Dyke. 

In order to federally convict Van Dyke, they would have to prove that his actions “were not the result of mistake, fear, negligence, or bad judgment,” the statement said.

Change was made in the Chicago Police Force, as they are now required to wear body cameras on active duty.

Coding error requires the reallocation of over $87 million in Illinois schools

Chicago Public Schools are expected to pay a total of over $87 million as a result of a coding error that resulted in a lack of funds for Illinois schools excluding CPS.

“[The Illinois State Board of Education] is in communication with CPS about an extended repayment period, so that classrooms are not impacted,” Superintendent of state education Carmen Ayala said in an email to the Chicago Tribune.

Schools which received at least $10 in excess funding will be required to pay in full their dues to school districts across Illinois.

Ayala said ISBE put “additional protocols in place to ensure accuracy moving forward” and initiated the process to pursue an external audit of the formula, which is supposed to give priority to districts with poor property wealth.

School bus driver brings joy to children he drives

Alvin Carter, a school bus driver and custodian in Skokie, Illinois has been a friendly face among students for 28 years.

“The faces, the smiles, the greets, and all that stuff,” he said in an interview with NPR. “In the lunchroom, it’s like we’re brothers and sisters, so it’s hard to really not be there.”

Carter tried to bring himself to retire over the years, but just couldn’t, citing the faces of the kids and the conversations they have.

Carter is dedicated fully, as his now eight grown up children are now past college. During the Pandemic, he caught wind of students being worried about him, and so he would drive past and honk at houses of students.

“I’d like them to be successful in life,” he said. “So if it starts at kindergarten, then it might continue.”

More than 100 former staff, students at same school have brain tumors

Cancer survivor Al Lupiano is one of 117 former staff and students from Colonia High School in New Jersey diagnosed with a rare brain tumor.

“While we have not yet determined if any contaminant is present, the only link up to this point is that everyone spent a significant amount of time at the school,” Lupiano wrote in his Facebook post.

Lupiano graduated from the school in 1989 and was diagnosed 20 years ago. He said he still suffers lingering issues, CBS New York reports. 

He started researching when family members were also diagnosed with brain tumors, Lupiano told CBS New York.

“I started doing some research and the three became five, the five became seven, the seven became 15,” Al Lupiano said.

The current count stands at 117 as of Sunday, April 25.