CPS teacher suspended, accused of pulling gun on student

Emily Lozano, a senior at George Washington High School on the Southeast Side, claims the teacher had harassed her for weeks before she pulled a gun on her in February.

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George Washington High School, 3535 E. 114th St., where CPS suspended a teacher for allegedly threatening a student with a gun.

George Washington High School, 3535 E. 114th St., where Chicago Public Schools suspended a teacher accused of threatening a student with a gun in February.

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Chicago Public Schools has suspended a Southeast Side high school teacher who allegedly threatened a student with a gun.

Emily Lozano, a senior at George Washington High School, 3535 E. 114th St., claims the teacher had harassed her for weeks after a classroom argument. She said it peaked in late February.

The teacher pulled a handgun from her bag, showing its handle, and said, “I wish you guys would keep messing with me,” according to Lozano, 17.

They were in a classroom with only one other teacher, who later denied it happened, Lozano said.

“I literally froze. ... I was in shock,” Lozano said. “I didn’t know if I should tell anybody, if anyone would believe me.”

Emily Lozano

Emily Lozano

Provided

She gained confidence to tell the school’s administration about the incident several weeks later, but she said she felt that the school did not take her concerns seriously.

“Three months, and the school did nothing,” she said.

After Lozano told reporters about the incident, CPS sent a letter to parents Monday to say a teacher was suspended while the district’s law department investigates.

“Safety is always our top priority, which is why I must inform you of a situation that has come to light. There has been an allegation that one of our staff members behaved inappropriately,” Jacqueline Hearns, the school’s administrator-in-charge, wrote to parents without elaborating.

Principal Barbara San-Roman is on maternity leave, a CPS spokesperson said.

CPS is following its procedures for investigating the allegation, the district said in an emailed statement.

Chicago police are investigating. No one is in custody or charged, a department spokesperson said.

Fearing retribution from her teacher, Lozano did not tell an adult about the alleged incident until visiting her uncle last weekend in Gary, Indiana.

“I was floored,” her uncle, Andrew Houston, said of his response to hearing the allegation. “It scares me that someone in that leadership position would do something like that.”

Houston went to the school Monday to meet police officers investigating the incident, he said.

School administrators gave him a copy of a redacted school report that detailed interviews with Lozano.

The document, shared with the Chicago Sun-Times, shows the teacher was also accused of bullying Lozano’s friend, calling him a homophobic slur. The teacher also allegedly pushed Lozano in the school’s hallways and called her names.

“This isn’t an isolated incident,” Houston said. “This woman has a history with a number of students.”

The teacher began pressuring Lozano to tell school administration that she had not threatened her friend, Lozano said. But Lozano said she remained “neutral,” which infuriated her teacher. That led to the teacher showing her the gun in the classroom during a lunch hour, she said.

Lozano said she had trusted the teacher and confided in her.

“It was almost like I was trying to trick myself it didn’t happen, because I felt I was close with this teacher,” she said. “I trusted her with everything. It was like a complete 360.”

Lozano’s father, Juan Lozano, said a security guard now follows her daughter around the school to provide protection.

The high school’s local school council voted to remove Chicago police officers from the campus in 2020. Juan Lozano said he believes that if resource officers were still present, it could have deterred the teacher from acting so brazenly.

Lozano graduates from school this semester and plans to attend Olive-Harvey College. She wants to be psychiatrist or social worker.

Lozano said “it sucks” that she had to bring her story to the public for the school to begin investigating. She wants the teacher to be fired and serve jail time.

“She’s threatened me for months, shoved me in the hallways, spreading personal rumors of other students,” Lozano said. “She made so many people miserable.”

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