Parents Concerned Following Middle School Confrontation

Police have increased their security presence at a Humboldt Park middle school after several high school-aged girls tried provoked a fight this week.

Officials at Galapogos Charter School say the older girls went to the school Wednesday afternoon and taunted a middle school student and her parent at the corner of Avers and Iowa.

"Kind of a shoving match between some individuals who are not connected to Galapagos at all, some high school children who came over to bully some middle school children," Galapagos CEO Michael Lane said. "An unfortunate event where there was some pushing and pulling of hair, and it's something that we as the adults at Galapagos tried to break up."

Parents who did not want to appear on camera said they believe the group of girls are affiliated with a gang, and are worried the situation could have been much worse.

"You don't know who is walking around with a gun nowadays. It could be a 7 year old," parent Pedro Dejesus said.

In February, a similar incident happened with a different set of high school-aged kids picking fights at Galapagos, but administrators say they were forced to leave before anything physical happened.

The school has been in the area for nearly nine years, and officials want to reassure students and parents that the school is a safe haven, and that this type of activity will not be tolerated.

"I think we are a pillar of hope in this neighborhood, and we'll continue to be so, but I think the entire city needs to be aware that there are things on the streets that do endanger our children, and there needs to be more support on the streets," Lane said.

School officials say faculty will be placed outside the school to make sure the kids get dismissed safely.

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