Everyone Knows Plastic Bags Are Not Toys!
By Jocelyn Geboy in News on Apr 4, 2007 3:33PM
Except for an art teacher over in Evergreen Park. Bruce Lupori, a sixth-grade teacher over at Southwest Elementary School allegedly participated in a "joke gone bad" whereby he apparently put a plastic bag (with a hole cut in it) over a student's head. The incident happened in February, but the school only heard about it when kids told administrators about it on March 23. That seems a little odd. Did they not tell because it was unworthy of mention? Or did they not tell because they were all totally freaked and afraid to say how wigged they were?
OK. Before we get too crazy here, we'll say this. Who knows what really happened? It might have been something sort of benign. While the story says that "school officials sent letters home with students late last week, detailing the incident that took place about six weeks ago," there is no mention of any details of any incident in the story. So we have no clue what we're talking about here. Was it a joke about suffocation? Was it a joke about art? Was it a joke that was meant to degrade? Was it a joke the student willingly participated in? We don't know.
However, we do feel compelled to ask the question of the ages: What the hell were you thinking? We have caught ourselves at parks wanting to take a picture of something and thinking, "Oh crap. What if one of these parents thinks Chicagoist is trying to take a picture of their kid?" So what if we were trying to take a picture of their kid? Maybe their kid is cute. Maybe their kid is on an interesting sculpture. It doesn't mean we're a pedophile. But because society has disintegrated from the wild fluctuation point of "Girls Gone Wild" videos seeming passe to the "To Catch A Predator" series becoming Dateline's cash cow, we are very careful about being the neutral adult in any given situation.
Superintendent Craig Fiegel said that he doesn't believe the students are in any danger and that Lupori has taught in the district for 22 years. "I believe he knows that it isn't something you do. It was an unfortunate thing to do," Fiegel said. "You have to weigh in some of the intent and look at the situation. We all have lapses in judgment, make mistakes."
Lt. Greg LeCompte of the Evergreen Park police said, "Parents don't want to pursue it, so no charges will be filed." Although the police have finished their investigation, Lupori is on paid leave until the school district is finished with their investigation, and at that time, the school board may choose to give him the smackdown.
What sucks is that if it was truly harmless, the guy could lose his job over an environment that has gotten crazyparanoidpoliticallycorrect in an effort to be ubersafe. The article mentions that "the student and her family don't believe Bruce Lupori had any ill intentions." The superintendent does back Lupori up by saying, "He has done some good projects with the kids and can be very creative in the classroom." Sure. But maybe he should leave the joke-telling to the forensics coach.
"bag head" via theslowcollapse.