DCFS called on mom for picking up son late from school (while city all but ignores skyrocketing violence?)

CHICAGO, IL – After a local teacher was referred to the Department of Children and Family Services for failing to pick up her son on time, a Chicago Public Schools policy has come under fire.

The incident occurred at Inter-American Magnet School in Lakeview, according to authorities.

JaNay Dodson, a CPS high school teacher, says she feels embarrassed and is concerned for her boy, who, she says, is still afraid of being snatched away from his mother after DCFS interviewed him.

Dodson recounted the interaction she had with her son, following the interview he’d had with DCFS personnel:

“He just ran and gave me a hug and was like ‘I’m so dumb,’ I said, ‘baby, why are you dumb?’ He said, ‘I shouldn’t have told her when she said where I live. I should have said nope, that’s not it because she can just come to our home now and come get me.’”

According to Dodson, the Inter-American Magnet School’s principal called DCFS on March 2nd over an incident where her son was picked up late from school. Apparently, there’s a policy in place that states if a child is picked up after 4:30 p.m., the school must contact the proper authorities.

From what Dodson says, the entire situation was born out of a misunderstanding with regard to her son being signed up for the bus route:

“I was expecting him to be on the school bus. He signed up for transportation. There was some issues with some of the routes being canceled.”

“I tried to reach the school to figure out what was going on. Once I realized I wasn’t going to get in contact with anyone at the school, I called my brother to pick up my son.”

Dodson says that her brother picked up her son at 4:37 p.m. following the confusion over the bus routes and her son, which she then received an email from the school principal the day after her son was picked up late from school:

“The following day, I received an email from the principal, Dr. Daniela Bylaitis, that said she needed me to be on time and that they don’t have the staff to monitor kids after school and that DCFS will be called.”

Dodson, a science teacher at Hyde Park Academy, wants the policy to be revised.

In response to the swirling controversy over this incident and the policy used in response, a spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools delivered the following statement:

“The policies the district has in place are intended to keep students supervised and safe. That said, we are aware of the circumstances of the incident and we are in the process of reviewing it.”

Members of the community and parents from the school, according to Dodson, have backed her up on the matter. Some parents have even signed a petition to have the policy changed.

Dodson asserts that the ordeal has left her distraught, and she wonders what might be the “long term” effects will be with regard to her son’s experience:

“Wondering how long this is going to take for this to be over. As well as what the impact will be long term.”

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In other news related to Chicago, a recent carjacking just so happened to have been caught on camera during a filmed segment of Barstool Sports’ “One Bite Pizza Reviews”. 

Here’s that previous report. 


CHICAGO, IL – While filming a segment for the show “One Bite Pizza Reviews,” Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and his film crew captured more than pepperoni and sausage when a carjacking occurred in frame behind the host while filming.

The incident took place as the crew was filming for the popular pizza review series in South Loop outside Art of Pizza, a pizza shop on S. State Street in Chicago.

Portnoy and his crew were filming a pizza review outside the restaurant when a vehicle in the background pulled out of a parking spot and struck a police vehicle. The vehicle then continued, turning down another street and fleeing.

Chicago police said a 27-year-old man observed his vehicle with an unknown male inside. The victim alerted nearby officers in a Chicago Police SUV. The male then drove the stolen vehicle out of the parking spot and struck the side of the police SUV before fleeing. Chicago police issued a statement on their Twitter account:

“On March 10, a 27-year-old male victim observed his vehicle on the street with an unknown male offender inside. The victim then flagged down officers nearby in a marked CPD squad car. The offender then accelerated & struck the rear of the squad car before fleeing west on Polk.”

In the video posted to the Barstool Sports Twitter account, Portnoy is speaking with another man who walked up to the host asking him to try a chicken sandwich.  While joking around with the man, a crash can be heard in the background. Portnoy says:

“Did that guy just get carjacked?”

The other man then responds:

“I think the guy just hit the police car.”

Portnoy then turns back to the camera:

“That guy just got hijacked, and we probably have it on live tv.”

The film crew checks their video and discovers the entire crime was captured on film behind the host.

Speaking to Inside Edition following the incident, Portnoy said:

“I knew we had something really unique. We’ve been doing this pizza review thing now for close to four or five years. There’s been a lot of weird stuff. I’ve never had a car robbery.”

There were no injuries during the incident, and police did not chase the fleeing vehicle. Officials said the department has a policy against high-speed chases involving stolen vehicles.

The incident remains under investigation. Police pointed out that the crime was not actually a carjacking, as there was no threat of violence. They classify the crime as motor vehicle theft.

The film crew was there to review Art of Pizza for the show, which travels the country rating small pizza shops. For anyone wondering, the pizza was “good and tasty Chicago-style pub pizza,” according to Portnoy. The pizza scored a 6.8.


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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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