Teen accused of throwing fireworks at Morgan Park High School, faces felony charge

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 16-year-old boy was charged with felony attempted arson in connection with an incident at Morgan Park High School.

Prosecutors said the teen set off fireworks in a hallway on Wednesday. There was also a fireworks incident on Tuesday that sent at least one student to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

RELATED: Parents outraged at Morgan Park High School response to explosions

Police said the boy turned himself in at the 8th District police station Wednesday evening, where he was taken into custody and charged.

He was identified by a Morgan Park staff member as the person seen on surveillance video running down a stairwell and throwing fireworks late Wednesday morning, police said.

In the video, students were seen running through a hallway full of smoke. The explosive damaged the school's structure.

At a meeting Thursday night, parents criticized the school's response.

"They have already showed you and proven it to you that they will do whatever they can get away with," one parent said.

"We have kids that's coming to school to get an education. They cannot get an education if you've got these other ones out here just trying to create havoc," another parent said.

Morgan Park High School Principal Dr. Femi Skanes said after the Tuesday blast, the school contacted the district and Chicago police right away.

"We immediately were in contact with our CPS safety and security office. We were immediately in contact with CPD," Skanes said.

Parents said before the back-to-back blasts, there were a series of incidents involving fire alarms being pulled. They said the school was slow to notify them. others wondered why the fireworks weren't caught at the door.

"The x-ray machine is set to pick up metal. We can see through the bags, but we don't necessarily know what each shape is," CPS' Marcel Smith said.

Federal ATF officials are involved in the investigation. School administrators said they are considering adding more security staff and cameras.

The teen appeared in juvenile court on Thursday. No further details were released.
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