No criminal charges will be filed in a Jan. 9, 2013, incident at Mill Creek Elementary School in Geneva involving parent/volunteer Colin M. McGroarty.
According to a press release issued Friday by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, sheriff’s investigators interviewed all known witnesses, as well as school officials who were present in the building but did not witness the incident. The investigators also reviewed "other statements and information that was relevant to the investigation," the press release said.
When the investigation was complete, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed the facts and findings with sheriff’s investigators and determined that McGroarty's conduct, "although disconcerting, was not criminal." The sheriff’s investigators and Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez were in agreement with this conclusion.
Relative to the incident and investigation, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said:
“The individual in question in this case certainly showed a gross lack of judgment through his actions in Mill Creek Elementary School on Jan. 9. He compounded the situation by emailing a note about the incident to other school parents and by making additional statements about the incident via social media.
“But his behavior, although inappropriate, irresponsible and lacking in even the most basic common sense, was not criminal conduct. The investigation revealed that the learning environment was never unlawfully disrupted, nor was the .
“Because of this individual’s actions, Geneva Community Unit School District 304 has permanently prohibited him from setting foot on district property. That would seem to be the most appropriate response to this incident.
“The safety of the students and teachers at every school in our community is —and will continue to be — of paramount importance to all of us in Kane County who work to protect the public.”
School District 304 Adds Official Statement
- The following statement was added Friday by School District 304, following the announcement from the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.
The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office announced earlier today that charges would not be filed against the parent who created a disturbance at Mill Creek Elementary School on January 9 and then proceeded to post messages via social media and email District Board members, administrators and a select group of parents in the Mill Creek community about the incident.
Geneva School District officials are grateful to the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the matter. We are appreciative of their fast work, thorough investigations, and commitment to the safety of our students and staff. We also thank the Geneva Police Department for their work in providing extra presence throughout our schools.
Though it has been determined by the State’s Attorney’s Office that this individual’s actions and statements following the incident were not criminal in nature, they did disrupt the school day, were perceived by many as alarming, and created an atmosphere of uneasiness in our school, our District, and our community. Geneva School District has permanently prohibited this individual from entering school property.
Particularly in the current climate of school violence, the disruption of the school environment will not be tolerated. As has been reiterated several times in recent months, the safety of our students and staff has been and will remain a top priority in Geneva School District.
We thank our staff, students, parents and community for their continued efforts to make Geneva a safe place to live and learn.
SOURCES: Kane County State's Attorney's Office, School District 304