Teacher suspended from Lyons school after 2 months over attempted murder charge

SHARE Teacher suspended from Lyons school after 2 months over attempted murder charge

Andres Rodriguez | Tinley Park police

A Tinley Park man was suspended from teaching at a west suburban Lyons middle school on Friday, following uproar over his criminal record that includes an attempted murder charge.

The decision to place Andres Rodriguez, 38, on administrative leave was finalized in the evening, a day after a board member of Lyons School District 103 lambasted interim superintendent Patrick Patt for hiring him.

Rodriguez was charged with the felony count more than a year ago when he allegedly shot a driver seven times during a road rage dispute, according to Tinley Park police.

Rodriguez was released after posting $50,000 bond while he case continued, according to court records. He was hired in August as a sixth grade English teacher at George Washington Middle School — that is, until Friday, when Patt and his co-superintendent Robert Madonia announced Rodriguez’s suspension as officials investigated his criminal background.

“Yesterday we became aware of news reports concerning alleged prior conduct of one of our staff members at George Washington Middle School,” Patt and Madonia wrote in a statement. “The alleged conduct occurred prior to the staff member being employed at Lyons School District. The School District has initiated an immediate review.”

On July 20, 2017, Rodriguez was walking near 69th Avenue and 173rd Place about 1:30 a.m. when he ran into a vehicle driven by a 25-year-old man, police said. The driver got out of his vehicle to check on Rodriguez, and a “scuffle” ensued, police said. Rodriguez pulled out a handgun and shot the man seven times.

The hiring of Rodriguez, whose next court appearance was scheduled for Nov. 28, was opposed by District 103 Board member Jorge Torres, who said his hiring was a major failure of the administration’s background check system.

“Most people in a traffic dispute exchange drivers licenses, not pull out a gun and start shooting someone,” Torres said in a Friday statement. “The superintendent failed us. Patt and his board majority failed the parents and they failed the children. This is common sense.”

The school district said student safety “is a top priority” and urged the community to understand “there are legal constraints with respect to sharing” details of Rodriguez’s criminal record and the district’s hiring process.

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