CHICAGO — Students at a Bronzeville high school were outraged after a video showing a Chicago Public Schools security guard allegedly pushing a student down a flight of stairs was posted online.
The security guard was removed from his position at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, 3000 S. King Drive., CPS said in statement Thursday. Police said the incident occurred about 11:42 a.m. Tuesday.
In a cell phone video originally posted on worldstarhiphop.com, the security guard appears to push the female student down a flight of stairs and hit her.
Several Dunbar students grew angry Thursday afternoon when recounting what they saw, with one sophomore calling the incident "bogus."
The witnesses said the security guard stepped between the girl seen in the video — a sophomore — and another girl she was trying to fight. The female sophomore put her hands on the security guard's chest to get by him, the students said.
"He said, 'Get your ass downstairs,' and pushed her," said 16-year-old freshman TayTay, who like other teens interviewed declined to give her last name.
Sophomore Shynesha, 16, said the security guard has a reputation for roughness at Dunbar.
"He's real aggressive. He's grabbed people and shoved them into a wall, or thrown them into desks — especially the boys," she said.
But freshman Tavon, 16, said the security guard didn't intentionally push the girl.
"He didn't push her. She fell," he said. "She got what she got."
After falling, the student lay at the bottom of the staircase for about 20 seconds as a crowd of studnts gathered around, shouting. A female dean tried to help the girl up, the witnesses said.
When the girl got up, she lunged at the security guard, and he hit her, the witnesses said.
"He was saying, 'I'm tired of y'all putting your hands on me. I'm not playing anymore," said sophomore Sonserya, 16, adding that the security guard didn't punch the girl, but hit her with his open hand.
"He didn't have to be rough like that," she said. "He could've handled it better. He's a grown man."
CPS released a statement about the incident Thursday.
"The safety of our students is our top priority," said Becky Carroll, CPS spokeswoman. "CPS takes matters of employee misconduct very seriously, especially when it involves an employee whose job it is to ensure the safety of students. Once CPS was made aware of this incident, immediate action was taken to remove this individual from his position while the investigation continues."
A CPS spokesman said the Chicago Police Department had taken over the investigation.