Three Employees Escorted Out of Niles West


By Divitya Vakil and Lexi Lee

A physical welfare teacher was escorted out of the building while teaching sixth period on Tues. Oct. 23. Since then, security has also escorted a social studies teacher and an administrator off of school grounds. All three employees have yet to return.

Multiple students in the physical welfare class recounted their experiences from that day.

“Everyone was so confused and upset as to why they would just come in during class where we came to learn and disrupt us and take our teacher away,” senior Yasmin Pirzada said.

“[The teacher] looked confused but still went [with security]. They didn’t explain anything to us. For about a minute we didn’t have a teacher, then another teacher walked in to cover remainder of class, [which] was not even 10 minutes,” junior Salma Abu Taleb said.

“A couple of security guards came in, they asked [the teacher] to get [their] stuff and go with them,” junior Alyssa Solorio said. “When [the teacher] left they had [another physical welfare teacher] try and help class continue, but a lot of us did not want to participate until we knew what was going on. Some of the students sat out and some participated.”

Principal Dr. Jason Ness and Director of Security Michael Pechter declined to comment.

On Thurs. Nov. 1, the district issued a job posting for a long-term substitute teacher, which will remain open for applicants until Nov. 16.

A week after the physical welfare teacher was removed, an administrator and a social studies teacher were also escorted out of the building. No student witnesses could be identified for the administrator’s exit, but a student in the fourth-period social studies class cited an incident that he linked to the teacher’s departure.

“He just got mad and was yelling at these sophomores,” senior Lucas Rouail said. “One girl wasn’t sitting in her assigned seat. He pushed an empty desk out of the room and it was loud. This was the first time he got that mad.”

The class now has a substitute teacher.

Union President Tim Miller explained who is behind the decisions to escort faculty out, and outlined possible reasons for removal.

“That decision is really made by administration. We have a disciplinary process that needs to be followed,” Miller said. “If somebody is removed, then it could be just the beginning of an investigation; it could be lots of different things. In this particular case and in any case that’s happened that I’ve been aware of, it’s usually the beginning of an investigation.”

Although administration will not comment, the district’s board policies dictate actions that may warrant employee suspensions:

Suspension without pay can be used as a disciplinary measure for up to 30 days of employment based on “misconduct that is detrimental to the school district” which includes:

1. Insubordination, including any failure to follow an oral or written directive from a supervisor
2. Violation of Board policy or Administrative procedure
3. Conduct that disrupts or may disrupt the educational program or process
4. Conduct that violates any State or federal law that relates to the employee
5.  Other sufficient causes.

Suspension with pay is also possible during an investigation into allegations of disobedience or misconduct, as a disciplinary measure for misconduct that is detrimental to the School District as defined above, or pending a Board hearing to suspend a teacher without pay.

The investigations are ongoing.


Christina Lappas contributed to this story.