LYONS – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) is calling for clearer disclosure practices for Illinois teachers after a Lyons School District 103 educator was allowed to teach in multiple suburban school districts while facing charges of attempted murder.

The teacher in question, Andres Rodriguez, allegedly fired seven shots into another man during a traffic dispute in August 2017, one year prior to being hired at Lyons 103. According to the Chicago Tribune, his lawyers claimed the shots were fired in self-defense.

“That this man is still allowed in even one classroom while currently facing charges of attempted murder is obviously troubling in and of itself,” Sandoval said. “But it’s even more troubling that he could slip through the cracks and be hired by another school district without disclosing this charge.”

Sandoval said he would explore legislation to require notification of school districts when a teacher is charged with such a serious crime. He also said the Illinois State Board of Education should be notified of such charges and should have the authority to suspend any teacher certifications while the charges are pending.

The Tribune report showed Joliet 86, Cicero 99 and Lyons 103 were each left in the dark about his history or current employment status at various times.

After Rodriguez was charged with attempted murder in August 2017, he continued to collect paychecks from both Joliet and Cicero. According to the Tribune, he was on paid leave at Joliet and barred from the campus because of the charge, yet Cicero allowed him to begin his new job in a classroom full of students just 12 days after posting bail.

Rodriguez was put on leave by Cicero in April of this year and dismissed in June when they found out about his charges. By August, he had been hired by Lyons. 

“All of this was possible because at no point in this process did anyone have the authority to suspend his teaching certification, and he never faced any requirement to notify any state institutions of this very serious charge,” Sandoval said. “This isn’t acceptable with the amount of information we have at our disposal in 2018. That’s why I am going to look to make these legislative changes.”

Sandoval also said he would direct ISBE to conduct an investigation into the hiring and disclosure practices of the three school districts at which Mr. Rodriguez was employed.

“An investigation is necessary, because we have to find out why exactly this oversight happened if we want to prevent more of them from happening in the future,” he said.

 

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-5304

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804
708-656-2002