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3-Year-Old Falls From School's 2nd-Floor Window, Lands in Chicken Coop Dirt

By Mina Bloom | December 9, 2015 4:48pm | Updated on December 9, 2015 5:28pm
 A parent said the school's lack of communication and
A parent said the school's lack of communication and "vague" emails created panic among Oscar Mayer Magnet School parents.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

LINCOLN PARK — A 3-year-old boy fell out of a second-story window at a Lincoln Park elementary school — but avoided serious injury after he landed in dirt from the school's chicken coop.

It happened around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday at Oscar Mayer Magnet School, 2250 N. Clifton Ave., police said and school officials confirmed.

A passerby spotted the toddler on the ground under the window and told workers at the school, according to Officer Bari Lemmon, a Chicago police spokeswoman.

When police arrived, officials discovered an open second-story window, concluding that the child had fallen, Lemmon said.

Firefighters took the boy to Lurie Children's Hospital, where he was listed in good condition, according to a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.

A parent, who declined to be named, said the boy was in the nap room when he fell. The school has an early childhood development program, which enrolls children that are 3 to 5 years old.

The parent said it happened either before or after the school was conducting a lockdown drill, which means students have to move to the corner of the classroom and be silent.

The parent, whose kindergarten-aged child is enrolled at the school, said the only reason the child was uninjured is because she believes the child fell into a dirt pile from a nearby chicken coop, which was donated to the school in 2013 as a teaching tool.

An official with the school was reached, but would not provide confirmation and deferred all questions to the district, saying "all of the children are safe."

In an email to parents, Principal Katie Konieczny wrote, "Today at Oscar Mayer we had a serious incident that occurred this afternoon. We are working closely with Chicago Public Schools and the internal Mayer team to fully investigate this situation as student safety is of the utmost importance. The affected parents, as well as any other people involved in the situation, have been notified. We will keep the community informed as we learn more about how this happened."

Many parents didn't send their children to school because they were so worried, according to the parent.

Konieczny later sent another email, which read, "I have received a number of emails regarding concerns for children to attend school today. I want to confirm that yesterday's incident was an isolated incident. Children are safe to attend school."

The parent said the principal's "vague" emails have been causing "pandemonium" at the school.

School officials said that a CPS Crisis Team was on site Wednesday to offer support to students and staff.

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, another email from the principal stated that CPS counselors are on site. "Our investigation is ongoing, but we have taken immediate steps to ensure the safety of your children, including making sure that all windows in the school are closed and relocating Early Childhood Nap and Spanish classes to the first floor."

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