Oak Park High School closed Wednesday after 8-10 men push past security, fight students

Authorities looking for adult men involved in altercation Tuesday

Oak Park High School is closed to students and families on Wednesday after a group of adults fought with students and security inside the school on Tuesday.

According to school officials, 8-10 adult men forced their way past high school security on Tuesday, April 26, and fought with students and security personnel inside the school. All of the men fled the scene and were still at large Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Update: Video inside Oak Park High School shows violent scene after men push past security, fight students

No weapons were reportedly used in the fight. One of the men has been identified since the incident occurred. School officials are said to be working with law enforcement and reviewing surveillance footage, social media traffic and more to work to identify the men involved.

Officials say they believe the fight Tuesday was triggered by another altercation that occurred off of school property the weekend prior.

Out of an abundance of caution, the high school is closing to students on Wednesday and will remain closed through the rest of the week, officials said Tuesday evening. Oak Park High School students will switch to online classes for Thursday, April 28, and Friday, April 29.

You can read the district’s entire Tuesday statement below.

“Dear Oak Park Schools staff and families,

“The safety and security of our staff and students is our top priority. I am writing this evening to give you an update on a fight involving multiple individuals that occurred today at Oak Park High School (OPHS). At approximately 2:58 p.m., eight to ten unidentified adult males pushed past security and staff and forced their way into our high school building and began fighting with OPHS students and security personnel. The OPHS administration, security team and staff took immediate action to secure the building and students. No weapons were involved in the altercation. The men fled and were not taken into custody.

“The Oak Park Department of Public Safety was called to the scene and a police investigation is underway. We are also conducting an internal review of the incident, including eyewitness interviews and a review of video evidence including social media posts of the incident. We have learned the identity of one of the men who forced their way into the school but are seeking information on the remaining individuals involved. We believe this incident may have been triggered by another altercation that happened off school property over the weekend.

“At Oak Park Schools, violence of any kind will not be tolerated. We are making every effort to identify those who trespassed on school property, entered our building and instigated violence against our students and staff. We plan to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. We have renewed our request for additional law enforcement officers at our high school and are exploring additional security measures. Out of an abundance of caution and because these individuals are still at large, OPHS will be closed to students and families tomorrow while the administration continues to partner with police to investigate and the staff prepares for virtual learning for the remainder of the week. All Pre-K through eighth grade and NOVA students will remain in-person. The high school administration team will meet with staff leadership tomorrow morning to discuss the events that took place. The OPHS staff are required to report to school every morning at 7:50 a.m. as scheduled.

“No students will be allowed to enter campus on Wednesday, April 27. OPHS students are required to remotely log into their first period class at 8 a.m. and participate in all classes following their regular schedule on Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29. Virtual attendance is required for all students. Additional information about login and passwords will be sent tomorrow.

“We will keep you updated as the situation develops, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and disruption this may cause. If anyone has information about this incident, please contact the Oak Park Department of Public Safety at (248) 691-7520 or the OPHS Lead Principal, Pam Vermiglio at (248) 336-7748.”

Jamii Hitchcock, Superintendent

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