SD 103 fires teacher charged with attempted murder
By Steve Metsch
It didn’t have the overflow crowd of just two months ago,
when news broke about Andres Rodriguez’ background.
No elected officials showed up demanding changes be made.
No Chicago TV reporters made breathless reports from “an
embattled west suburban school district.”
But Monday night’s meeting of the Lyons School District 103
board had the same hot topic: What to do regarding Rodriguez, a sixth-grade
English teacher at George Washington Middle School?
At the meeting of Oct. 22, a host of elected officials made
impassioned pleas for the board to fire Rodriguez over an incident last year.
In July 2017, Rodriguez, 40, was charged with seven counts
of attempted murder and a felony assault charge after he shot a motorist seven
times after a traffic altercation in Tinley Park. He is out on bond and
In the end, it wasn’t the fact that Rodriguez had been
charged with shooting another motorist in a road rage incident that cost him
It was the matter of his fudging on his job application that
has him unemployed again.
“He misrepresented himself on his (job) application,”
interim Supt. Patrick Patt said Monday.
“They ask very specific questions, and one is, ‘Have you
ever been released or terminated?’ And he was in Cicero in February,” Patt
Elected officials were appalled that such a person would be
hired by the school district.
School officials, on the other hand, said all the proper
checks and balances had been made, save the one that, in the end, led to
Rodriguez losing his job in Lyons.
Then, after an executive session of just over 90 minutes,
the board Monday night voted unanimously to fire Rodriguez.
Rodriguez and his attorney, Eugene Keefe, attended the
executive session, Patt said. Keefe did all the talking, board president Marge
Unlike October’s loud meeting, there were just a handful of
people in attendance when Monday’s vote took place.
They had either been tipped off, or knew how to read between
the lines to know what was coming.
The cryptic “A Non-Tenured Teacher Discharge” was listed as
an action item near the end of the agenda, just above “adjournment.”
Board members reconvened after the executive session and
voted 6-0 – vice president Sharon Anderson was absent – to relieve Rodriguez of
his duties. He had been on paid administrative leave since October, Hubacek
Rodriguez was fired because had had not disclosed on his job
application that he had been fired by a Cicero school district, officials said.
The board is typically not told of an applicant’s arrest
history, unless they are convicted of a crime, trustee Shannon Johnson said.
And that’s something she’d love to see changed.
“He should have never been hired. The removal was
inevitable. Had he been honest and disclosed on his application (about losing
his job in Cicero) this would have never happened,” Johnson said.
“I’m very upset about the whole thing. When we have a
teaching license, we do the initial background check, fingerprinting, everything
else. If you are charged, there should be something saying, ‘Hey, this is
pending, but nothing has happened yet.’ How are we to know?” Johnson said.
She supports proposed legislation alerting school boards
about criminal charges against job candidates.
“There’s no safety net for us. There needs to be a safety
net. I’m a teacher (in Glencoe) and think I would deserve to not teach if I was
accused of something like that. There needs to be legislation passed because
this needs to stop happening,” Johnson said.
Patt said it took two months for the board to fire Rodriguez
was because “we had to go through the proper procedures, the protocol.”
“We did what we had to do,” Patt said.
Hubacek said she was relieved the ordeal was over.
“We’ll take a look at what happened, but everything came
back the way it should have,” Hubacek said.
Board member Jorge Torres, who, along with Lyons Mayor
Christopher Getty, had demanded Rodriguez’ firing in October, said Monday’s
action was needed “because of a negative image for the school.”
“I was very surprised (by the shooting incident),” Torres
said. “Of course, I feel better for the school district.”
Rodriguez will collect no more paychecks from the district
because he has been fired, Hubacek said. He had been on paid administrative
leave since October, she said.
In October, state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-11th) called for
clearer disclosure practices for Illinois teachers after Rodriguez was allowed
to teach in multiple suburban school districts while facing charges of attempted
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