A staff member at the Kishwaukee Education Consortium in Malta was charged with battery after police responded to a report of an altercation between a staff member and a student.

Justin W. Schimandle, 37, was charged with battery Wednesday after an investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and a review by the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office, according to a news release.

According to the release, the sheriff’s office received two calls about the altercation Sept. 26, the first from the consortium at 8:56 a.m. and the second from the student’s family at 4:34 p.m.

The altercation began over a search of the student’s bag for a vaping pen, according to the release, after Schimandle had reason to believe the student had the pen.

It began in the gymnasium, according to the release, when the student tried to reach into the staff member’s pocket after confronting the staff member about the search.

“The staff member grabbed the student with both arms in a ‘bear hug’ and carried the student through the gymnasium and used their body to go through the door into the entryway of the school,” the release read. “Once through the door, the staff member landed on top of the student, where the altercation continued.”

The student was restrained with the help of another staff member, according to the release.

Tom Crouch, executive director of the Kishwaukee Education Consortium, said Schimandle is no longer an employee of the school and said he could not comment further about Schimandle or the incident.

Schimandle was charged with battery. He turned himself in and was released after posting $300 on his $3,000 bond, according to the release.

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