Tag Archives: Blue Island

Teacher fired for allegedly bullying student over Pledge

BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago teacher has been fired for allegedly bullying a student into standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Eisenhower High School driver’s education teacher Vince Ziebarth says he was terminated March 16 after being told he made “inappropriate comments” to a sophomore student.

Ziebarth told the Daily Southtown that he told the student if he chooses to sit during the Pledge he will not sit in a driver’s education vehicle. Ziebarth said he wasn’t given a specific reason for his firing, adding he was not under contract, and was not a tenured teacher.

The student’s mother contends Ziebarth violated her son’s First Amendment rights.

School officials have declined to comment on personnel issues involving Ziebarth.


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OSHA: Company exposed workers to lead at Blue Island bridge project

(CHICAGO) A Chicago-based company faces more than $287,000 in fines for allegedly failing to protect workers from lead exposure at a bridge project in south suburban Blue Island.

Workers for Era Valdivia Contractors, Inc., were exposed to the lead hazards while sandblasting the steel structure of the Francisco Avenue Bridge in Blue Island on July 25, 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration claims.

Without proper protections, employees can inadvertently bring the toxic metal into their homes on their clothes, shoes hands and hair, OSHA said in a release. This so-called “take-home lead” is particularly hazardous to pregnant women and young children.

Era Valdivia Contractors was issued four willful violations for failing to provide personal protective clothing, clean changing areas and hygiene facilities, such as showers and hand-washing facilities, to prevent lead from traveling home, OSHA said.

It was also issued a serious violation for failing to provide written notice to an employee who was overexposed to lead, OSHA said.

The company has been cited 13 times before for violating lead construction standards, OSHA said. The citations carry proposed penalties of $287,000.

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