Illinois Teacher Blind After Being Stabbed By Student

Published: January 22, 2008

ELGIN, Ill. – A teacher who was stabbed in the upper body by a 16-year-old male student Jan. 18 is now blind in her right eye as a result of the attack.

Carolyn Gilbert, 50, a family and consumer science teacher, had been alone with the suspect in her first-floor classroom shortly after students had completed the semester’s final exams. Another faculty member heard cries coming from the room and intervened to help Gilbert.

The Elgin High School student, whose name has not been released, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery to a person known to be a teacher and aggravated battery with a weapon. Police also recovered the knife used in the incident.

The suspect is being held at the Cook County Youth Facility. His hearing was scheduled for Jan. 22.

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Police declined to offer a possible motive for the attack; however, officials said there is no indication the suspect belonged to a gang.

Gilbert was originally taken to Sherman Hospital before she was transferred to the University of Illinois Medical Center. She was released on Jan. 20.

Tim Davis, president of the Elgin Teachers Association, said there are many questions as to how the student got into the school with a weapon when students are searched with hand-held metal detectors.

He added that the district should think about incorporating policies from other school districts on ways to protect students and teachers.

When students returned to school after the weekend, counselors were available to talk about the incident.

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