Parents of a special needs student seen pushed to the ground in a video posted on social media have declined a formal police investigation, Elmhurst police announced Tuesday.
The Dec. 8 incident in a York Community High School restroom involved five students, including a boy with special needs. Police determined the students engaged in “willful physical contact,” while other students watched. The boy with special needs is on the wrestling team, and two of the boys involved are his teammates, police said.
In the video, a student who is not on the wrestling team pushed the student with special needs, and he fell to the ground, the statement said.
Elmhurst School District 205 Superintendent Keisha Campbell said in an email to parents on Sunday that a group of bystanders watched and laughed while the altercation took place.
Police obtained two cellphones that recorded different segments of the incident, according to the Elmhurst police statement.
“A female student aid faculty member had escorted the student with special needs to the restroom, and was outside the restroom during the incident. The aid summoned school administrators when she heard unusual activity inside the restroom,” the statement said.
Elmhurst detectives contacted the parents of the student who was pushed and the parents decided that “the matter would be handled through the school disciplinary process,” according to the statement.
When the video surfaced last week, it sparked outrage among parents and students. A Change.org petition calling for reform and better education on empathy, bullying and harassment garnered nearly 5,000 signatures in three days.
Elmhurst police have offered counseling services to the juveniles involved.