Hallway Headlines: November 2022

Jake Pfeiffer, News Editor & Copy Editor

1: Homewood-Flossmoor students protest handling of sexual assault allegations

FLOSSMOOR, Ill. — Over 200 students at Homewood-Flossmoor High School walked out of their classes on Nov. 3 in protest of the school administration’s handling of sexual assault allegations.

The incident in question involved a student being allegedly assaulted by a classmate three days prior to the protest. 

Students who walked out cited previous mishandling of assault accusations in interviews with ABC 7 Chicago.

“We had these same conversations last year with the administration and things were not put into place as we can see,” said Aaron McIntyre, Student Ambassador at Homewood-Flossmoor. “So now it’s up to us to make sure it happens this year.”

2: Chicago students hold ‘sit in’, protest administration’s handling of incidents

CHICAGO, Ill. — Students at Jones College Prep High School walked out of their classes on Nov. 7, holding a “sit in” in the school’s lobby to protest their administration’s handling of “controversial incidents.”

The protest was catalyzed by a student dressing as what many believe to be a Nazi soldier in a school costume showcase, “goose walking” across the stage and saluting the crowd. Joseph Powers, the school’s principal, responded by arguing that the costume was of a 1980’s East German soldier.

On Nov. 4, Powers was suspended for the duration of the investigation into the incident.

Protestors also cited Powers’ failure to report a teacher for accusations of mistreating students the previous year as a motivation for the protest.

“We’re over it, we’re so done with the admin being complacent,” Jones senior Florence Tang said in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times. “It wasn’t just about the Halloween incident, it was about the years of complacency and inaction at Jones that really triggered this protest and this movement.”

3: Bus driver reassigned after appearing to fall asleep at wheel

FORREST, Ill. — A Prairie Central School District employee was reassigned from his role as a bus driver after appearing to fall asleep at the wheel while driving children to school in a video.

The Prairie Central Junior High student who recorded the video on Nov. 11 told WCIA 3, a CBS-affiliated news channel that the driver had seemed to fall asleep previously.

After the clip of the driver began circulating on Facebook, many parents contacted the district to voice their complaints. 

The driver was allowed to continue to take kids to school for six days, until backlash led to his reassignment on Nov. 17.

4: St. Ignatius hockey team bus hit by semi-truck; members sue truck driver

CHICAGO, Ill. — At least 16 people were injured when a bus carrying the St. Ignatius High School JV hockey team was struck by a semi-truck in Indiana on Nov. 12. 

Members of the team filed a lawsuit against the truck driver on Nov. 28, accusing him and four trucking companies of “negligence and willful and wanton disregard for the safety of the players and coaches aboard the bus.”

The driver was taken into custody after the crash and was charged with multiple felonies after he was found to have a blood alcohol content over twice the legal limit in Indiana. Witnesses reported erratic driving from the semi for over 20 miles before the crash.

Parents of the hockey team called for the driver to be punished severely.

“I would never want to see that man out of jail, nor would I ever want to see him behind the wheel of any vehicle again,” parent Eileen Murphy said to the Chicago Sun Times.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, ABC 7 Chicago, The Chicago Sun Times, WCIA, NBC 5 Chicago