Three Students Charged with Battery After Assault Sends Another Student to Hospital


Jessica Palmer

A security guard stands outside of the bathroom where Thursday’s assault occurred. As part of administration’s efforts to ensure safety at Niles West, more authority figures were present in the hallways and common spaces on Friday, April 29, 2022.

By Gloria Kosir, Editor in Chief

A group of Niles West students physically assaulted another student in a first floor boys’ bathroom on Thursday, April 28, at approximately 10:45 a.m., roughly around the passing period between Homeroom and fourth period. It is currently unclear how many students were involved in the fight, however multiple eyewitnesses confirmed that a group targeted a single boy who was transported to the hospital from school grounds in an ambulance during fourth period.

School Resource Officer Nick Larson confirmed that the individuals involved in the assault were taken to the Skokie Police Department. Although rumors inflated the number of students involved, three individuals have since been charged with aggravated battery and referred to juvenile court.

While numerous students were in the bathroom, at least one was a bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. Niles West principal Dr. Karen Ritter addressed rumors in an email update sent at 2:34 p.m. on Friday, clarifying that “No weapons (bricks or knives) were used in this physical altercation; no student is on life support or in a coma; no staff member was injured; it was not a fight that included 10-15 students,” Ritter wrote in the email.

Following the assault, two videos circulated among students. One video depicted boys punching, kicking and dragging the victim, who appeared to lose consciousness. A second video captured the injured student being assisted to the Nurse’s office.

The Niles West News received multiple firsthand, independently corroborated accounts of the incident. Eyewitnesses noted a lot of commotion; security called for a wheelchair and an ambulance. A victim exited the bathroom with the assistance of two classmates. There was blood across his face, on the floor in the bathroom and on the floor in the hallway between the bathroom and the nurse’s office. The victim appeared to be in and out of consciousness.

According to Ritter, the student was admitted to the hospital and released the same day. 

The Skokie Police Department stated in a press release that this assault is unrelated to past physical altercations at Niles West. There were at least six fights in school first semester, four of which occurred in boys’ bathrooms. Bathrooms do not have surveillance cameras.

The school’s measures to ensure the safety of students and staff was also described in the email, and includes the following: 

  • increased personnel in the building, hallways and bathrooms
  • locking select bathrooms to condense the areas supervision is needed

Security guards were stationed outside of the bathroom where the assault occurred for the entirety of the school day on Friday, and students reported an increase in authority presence.

Niles West will pursue disciplinary action in accordance with the board policy for fighting at school. The student handbook states, “Any act of assault, aggravated assault, battery or aggravated battery, upon any person (e.g., excessive physical contact, pushing or shoving which leads to personal injury or property damage). NOTE – Students may be punished if they fight regardless of who initiated the fight.”

The penalties in the handbook for fighting include an out-of-school suspension for 1-10 days, a police referral and/or recommendation for expulsion.