Lincoln Park HS protest Thursday continues wild week of misconduct investigations, staff shakeups, class disruptions

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Lincoln Park High School has been rocked this week by a series of scandals, staff shakeups and student protest, and parents are angry, frustrated, and ready to demand answers from Chicago Public Schools.

Friday morning Lincoln Park's local school council, or LCS, will hold a meeting right in front of the high school. With five investigations ongoing at the school the LCS has several demands.

They want to meet with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson. They want the administrators who have been removed to be reinstated. They want basketball players not involved in the scandal to be able to play. And they want open, honest and transparent communication with CPS overall.

LCS confirmed members met with Alderman Michele Smith Thursday, and the alderman said CPS would release a statement tonight.

"They'll have something to say about what the next steps are," she said.

Protests continued in the school Thursday morning, as students staged a sit-in over a video showing a former school administrator appearing to squeeze a student's face.

The sit-in followed another staff shakeup, this time involving interim Administrator Judith Gibbs.

Gibbs is seen on school security camera video, obtained by ABC 7 Chicago, appearing to be checking the ID of 17-year-old Jovani Munoz in a hallway. At one point, she appears to squeeze his face. Munoz said Gibbs had pulled him aside for not wearing his ID, and, when she appears to reach for it, he says he flinched and then she grabbed his face.

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An interim administrator recently placed at Lincoln Park High School by Chicago Public Schools after a scandal involving the boys basketball team has resigned from her position.



"She immediately apologized, but the shock had just gotten to me and I couldn't just accept the apology right there," Munoz said.

Dozens of students also walked out of the high school Thursday, carrying signs and chanting in protest.

"It shows that we acknowledge what she did was wrong, and we don't want that in our school," student Ella Wong said.

As the school day wore on, more students left early with their parents. Some left after fights in the school and social media threats of more violence after school.

"A lot of people are scared," said student Isabella Duran. "It's very chatotic."

Chicago Public Schools recently installed Gibbs after a scandal involving the boys' basketball team, but she resigned Wednesday. Gibbs said she was resigning because she wasn't a good fit for the school.

RELATED: New Lincoln Park HS interim administrator resigns over misconduct allegation possibly caught on video

Then CPS released a statement, saying "we recently learned of an allegation involving improper contact with a student and have initiated an investigation."

Munoz said he doesn't believe CPS is keeping students at LPHS safe.

"It was just very shocking that, like, even a teacher could put, or staff could put, hands on a student," he said.

His attorney issued a statement, saying, "We are currently investigating the incident at Lincoln Park High School and we are exploring all options."
Last week CPS removed Lincoln Park high's principal and assistant principal and suspended the boys' basketball coach amid an investigation into a team trip to Detroit over the holidays. Students supporting those administrators and the coach walked out on Monday, demanding them back.

RELATED: Lincoln Park High School community demands answers after principal removed for misconduct allegations, basketball suspended

Meanwhile the local school council wants answers.

"We are the community, and we've been left out of this process," school council member Eli Grant said. "And CPS (is) acting fast, and, in some ways, we feel irrational without consultation."

RELATED: At Lincoln Park High School meeting, CPS officials say 4 separate misconduct investigations are ongoing

The council said they were supposed to meet with CPS Thursday morning, but CPS canceled the meeting.
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