The principal of Nichols Middle School says the school was briefly locked down Thursday after a staff member was injured while questioning a student allegedly involved in an off-campus sexual assault.
Principal Marcus Wright, in a memo to parents, said the sex assault incident did not happen on school property or during school hours, but that school officials learned that there was a video circulating among students related to the incident.
Wright says the school immediately launched an investigation that involved calling a police officer to the building.
He says that during a discussion between district administrators and one of the students allegedly involved, the student became “extremely verbally upset,” and, despite staff members efforts to deescalate the situation, the student “became physically aggressive and a district staff member was injured.”
Additional police officers were then called to the school, the student was temporarily put in handcuffs and then taken to the hospital, Wright says.
The school was placed on soft lockdown for about 15 minutes during the incident, the principal says, and “additional district mental health services and support will be available” at the school on Friday.
The sexual assault report is being investigated by the Evanston Police Department.
Evanston Police Commander Ryan Glew tells Evanston Now that the student who became aggressive at Nichols was not arrested, and no arrests have been made for the alleged sexual assault.
Update 12:30 p.m.: The staff member was not taken to the hospital, and a District 65 spokesperson says the individual is doing well.
This is the second District 65 employee to be injured by a student in recent weeks.
The first involved a teacher at Haven Middle School, who was knocked down by a student after she heard a fight in progress and stepped out of her classroom to see what was going on.
That teacher said she was “blind-sided” by the student, but did not believe she was an intended target.
However, she also said she was not surprised, considering discipline problems at the school.
Earlier this week, however, Haven Principal Chris Latting told a town hall meeting that behavior at the school has improved, and that discipline referrals are down since the beginning of March.