CHICAGO (Reuters) – A Chicago-area Chihuahuas’ school, where a young man was killed last year, has been closed after a student posted a video on Facebook of the animal walking past his classroom door, sparking a backlash that led to a teacher being fired.
The incident, which occurred on Nov. 30, drew attention to a growing problem of student violence and harassment in the city of about 50,000, where schools and daycare centers are a major draw for the children of about 4 million people.
Police said on Friday that an investigation into the incident was underway and that the school had reopened on Monday.
In the video posted by a student, a chihuahuan named Bibi-La, walks past a classroom door with a student and his father, who were both present, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The boy’s father, identified as Bibi, is seen in the video sitting at the front of the classroom.
“He’s just lost his way, and he doesn’t know what to do,” Bibi La told the Tribune.
“He just doesn’t understand the difference between right and wrong.”
Bibi-la said he was told by school officials that he had violated the district’s code of conduct, which requires all students to be supervised by a teacher.
“I didn’t think they would do that to a chinchilla,” Bisi La told local news outlet WLS.
“The kid just wants to go to school.”
Bisi La said the chihuahuahua wandered into the classroom and got lost for several minutes before coming to a stop on a wooden stool next to the door.
“This is not a good thing,” he said, adding that he did not know whether the chinchahua would have returned to the classroom had he not called 911.
“It’s unfortunate, but this is what’s going to happen.
He just lost a friend,” Biblio La told reporters.
“If I was his teacher, I would have been there right away.”
The boy, who had been visiting the school with his father and brother, was fatally shot by a former student who was not disciplined for the incident.
Police on Friday arrested and charged the former student, 18-year-old James Johnson, with second-degree murder.
The Chicago Police Department said Johnson admitted to shooting Bibi.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement that the shooting is “a horrific reminder that our schools need to be safe places for our students and staff to learn and grow.
It also sends a strong message to the school district that we will take appropriate action if it is determined that student safety is compromised by any act.”
The city has a population of more than 1.3 million people and more than 100 schools are open to the public, including the Chihuaguas school.
The mayor said he would be making a visit to the district later this week.
“In this situation, it’s important that we keep this in the forefront of the conversation,” Emanuel said.