After students this morning staged a protest at the start of classes, Evanston Township High School officials issued a statement saying they are aware of a video that appears to show staff members stealing from student lockers.

Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell in the statement says the matter is being investigated by the Evanston Police Department and that the school “will take appropriate actions as more details become available.”

Campbell says the school “is taking these allegations very seriously and we understand the concerns of students and families.” He asks anyone with information to contact the dean’s office at 847-424-7900.

The student protest reportedly ended without incident and it’s not known how many students took part.

Update 10:56 a.m.: Evanston Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan says the department’s school resource officers are involved in the investigation at the school but that no details are available yet.

Update 11:30 a.m.: Some parents, including ones posting on a social media group for ETHS parents, say their students have been complaining about locker thefts at the school for months but that the complaints had been dismissed until today.

Update: 1:05 p.m.: Cmdr. Dugan says police have seen the video, but are trying to locate the student who created it to be able to confirm its authenticity.

He said officers are also seeking information from other students who may have had items stolen from their lockers to try to better assess the scope of the problem.

Dugan says students or parents with information can also call the police department at 847-866-5000 and asked to be put in touch with a school resource officer at the school.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Locker thefts by staff

    This is unfortunate. The kids deserve to be provided with a safe inviroment.

  2. So very poorly handled by ETHS administration

    At every turn, the ETHS administration is mishandling this matter. 

    First, they ignored student complaints about locker room thefts for months.  As I understand it, no one is allowed in the locker rooms during gym periods (of course, students get changed before and after gym) except for ETHS safety officers.  So proper investigations should have been undertaken to find out why these thefts were happening during a time when students should not have had access and especially not to locked lockers.  Students tell me that the school staff has all of the gym locker combinations.

    Instead of speaking directly and in person to students in H Hall during their start of the day protest over having their complaints about thefts ignored for months, the principal made a poorly-prepared statement over the public address system at the school.  Then the administration sent teachers, not lead administrators, to order students out of the hallway.  Word is that students were disciplined with suspensions and referrals.  Way to escalate the tension, ETHS administrators.

    And who is investigating for the police?  Word is that EPD school resource officers are–the same people who spend considerable time in the school and interact regularly with ETHS safety officers such as the adults who are in the videos.

    If not done already, the staff members in the video need to be placed on leave (as allowed by their union contract) and students and parents need to be informed that this has been done.  

    Our students deserve to be secure in their school and not fear that adults paid as "safety" to protect them and their belongings are stealing from them. Instead, our students are ignored then treated badly when they express their concerns as a group. Our community deserves an administration that listens to students and takes their concerns seriously.  

    Sadly, this has revealed a level of amateurism in the ETHS administration, both in handling the initial complaints and now that the students took steps to identify the thief or thieves.

  3. A Sorry state

    The article says ",,.placed on leave (as allowed by their union contract)…"


    While we don't know yet if the Union or Contract will protect employees who did this, we all to often hear that such and such school/government/police officicial commits a crime but the 'Contract' protects them and at a minimum will take months if not years to get rid of the bad apple.

    1. Eths staff

      Nothing is going to be done about this matter the schools is not going to do anything. The administration has his hands tied behind their back because of the union rules. The union is way to powerful and School administration is not going to do anything to these individuals. The only people losing here are the students.  It is sad to know that nothing is going to change this happened in the  boys locker room,but I know that same thievery is happening in the girls locker room too.

      1. stealing at ETHS

        Then people need to keep pressing this issue….and make sure it gets investigated.

      2. Know before your speak

        You know nothing about the unions at ETHS.  The Safety union has been working for almost three years without a contract while the administration drags their heals and refuses to sit and negotiate.  The Safety union has won every single challenge via moderators and ILRB, but yet they have no contract, no raises, and no protection.  The "paid leave" that you are referring to is procedural for ALL workers, the moment it becomes a police matter ( like in this case), the paid part is no longer AND unions do not provide support once it becomes a police matter… The suspect must find his/her own legal representation at their own dime.  In this case, it lasted less than 24 hours.  What has happened is aweful and the person on staff that has been doing this to students should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  The student/staff relationship/trust has been shattered to the core and ETHS staff is doing EVERYTHING they can to make it right.  However the ones that seem to be absent from this hard work of restoring trust again is the administration.  There response is to give detentions and suspend students that are protesting.  They have had leads on this issue for years and have done nothing except for assuming that it was a student to student issue… not staff to student issue.  There needs to be fundamental change at ETHS from the top down.  The suspect should not be the only one held accountable.  The people that should be applauded are the safety staff that do their job to the fullest every day without a contract.  Remember that gun incident earlier in the week… how did ETHS know about it… yes a STUDENT told a trusted SAFETY staff and they got a gun off the street before it did any harm.  Who stops fights and resolves student problems before they even start… safety staff.  Whose department has the majority of staff that lives in district and/or went to ETHS… Safety.  Safety's hard work every day is what makes our school in Evanston safe and productive.  Please stop bashing something you know nothng about… the unions at ETHS and what they do… especially our Safety Staff.

      3. ETHS

        So I hear from some of my daughters Friends  at the ETHS that nothing is being done about this theft situation. My daughter tells me that this is a constant thing going on in the girls locker room also,and nobody looking into it. She tells me The women Safety are very aggressive and dismissed most of the complaints so they don't bothered report it anymore. What is going on in this place? 

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