Elmwood Park HS students express safety concerns after student arrested for bringing gun to school

John Garcia Image
Saturday, March 11, 2023
Elmwood Park HS students express safety concerns after student arrested for brining gun to school
EMBED <>More Videos

Students demonstrate outside Elmwood Park High School Friday, trying to send a message to their administration.

ELMWOOD PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Students demonstrate outside Elmwood Park High School Friday, trying to send a message to their administration.

After a student was arrested earlier this week for bringing a gun into the school, many said they feel unsafe there.

"There should have been a hard lockdown and they would not call it 'cuz they were scared of the optics they would bring to the district," said senior Damian Perez.

Perez organized a student walkout at the school Friday to protest the administration, which failed to put the school on lockdown after the gun was discovered on campus Monday.

"I think security should have done something about this," said fellow senior Teagan Walsh. "The fact we did not know about this 'til the day after -- there was no lockdown and we had no information -- was wrong."

River Grove police were on hand to monitor the protest and confirmed that a 17-year-old student has been charged as a juvenile for bringing the gun to school. That student has since been released on electronic monitoring.

"They're usually very good at updating parents of what's going on and especially when it comes to safety issues, so I have no idea what kept this from teachers, students and the parents," said Tianna Price, who has two kids at the high school.

The district issued a joint statement with the River Grove and Elmwood Park police departments about the incident saying they "...concluded that the actions taken on Monday mitigated the threat within the school. Moving forward we will continue to review protocols and training."

Some of the parents and students protesting said the school failed to alert them of the threat until later.

"We are not safe. We have not felt safe in this school for a long time and it's time they do something about it," Perez said.