Class VP arrested after coming late to graduation:
I don't often read stories about my high school, Thornton Fractional Township High School North ("Home of the Meteors!" AKA "T.F. North") in Calumet City, Illinois, but this one made the Best of the Web. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
For Maquisha Cosey, vice president of Thornton Fractional North High School's class of 2006, graduation day is not one she'll soon forget.There's more here.
And not for any of the sentimental reasons.
It's the day that Cosey, who was listed on Friday's graduation program as the leader of the pledge to the flag, was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct after trying to participate in the ceremony despite being denied entry for being late.
"I know that this shouldn't have happened to me. It shouldn't happen to anyone," says the graduate.
Instead of celebrating her big day, she spent the evening at the Calumet City police station being fingerprinted and photographed because Principal Dwayne E. Evans, the Cosey family claims, was angry someone had let her into the ceremony after the doors were locked.
It was also her 18th birthday.
"I don't have all the facts yet," District 215 Supt. Robert Wilhite said Saturday. "I have a meeting scheduled for Monday morning with the staff of Thornton North to sort this all out."
Wilhite says he was told Cosey was arrested for "screaming and yelling in the gymnasium long after the graduation was all over." Court papers, with the principal listed as the complainant, allege she "knowingly and intentionally acted in an unreasonable manner and provoke[d] a breach of the peace by continually yelling and screaming and threatening the school staff during the graduation proceedings."
But Cosey, a member of student government who says she never had a discipline issue in four years of high school, denies that, saying, "That's just not my character."
Evans could not be reached for comment.
It all started when Cosey arrived at the high school in Calumet City two minutes before doors were scheduled to be locked. Invitations had clearly stated no one would be allowed in to the 6 p.m. ceremony after 5:55 p.m., and students had been instructed to arrive at 5 p.m.
That Cosey was late, she and her parents aren't disputing. . . .
Calumet City is featured or mentioned in a number of major movies. John Belushi's "Joliet Jake" character from The Blues Brothers was born in Calumet City. In film Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill is thought to be hiding in Calumet City, when he is actually in Belvedere, Ohio.The Encyclopedia of Chicago has much more information:
Cook County, 19 miles S of the Loop. Calumet City is located across the southeast boundary of the city of Chicago at the state line between 143rd Street and 163rd Street, east of the Bishop Ford Freeway. It is north of Lansing and southeast of Dolton. Originally known as West Hammond, Calumet City shares State Line Road with Hammond.
Founded in 1893 when the population consisted mainly of German Lutheran farmers, the early community depended heavily on the factories and commerce of Hammond. The 1900 population of 2,935 grewto 7,492 by 1920. By that time, Poles outnumbered Germans, with residents of Irish ancestry in third place. Poles were so politically powerful in the community that a Polish American was elected village president in 1900 and in 1902 one municipal party was able to field a slate made up completely of candidates with Polish names.
When Indiana went dry in 1916, West Hammond became an attractive watering hole for the drinkers of northwest Indiana. Bootleggers like Al Capone built on this base when national Prohibition came into play, and the town of West Hammond, just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, gained a reputation as a "Sin City," where gambling, prostitution, and illegal booze joints created a pre--Las Vegas strip on State Street. Hardworking residents were so dismayed by the town's bad reputation that they voted in 1923 to change the name to Calumet City. Despite the city's notoriety, the population grew from 7,500 to 12,300 during the 1920s, reaching 25,000 in 1960, 32,956 in 1970, and 39,697 in 1980. Since the 1920s various mayors and citizen groups battled to shut down the State Street bars with varying success, until Mayor Jerry Genova's efforts in the 1990s seemed to bring that chapter of the city's history to an end.
In 1966 investors spent $35 million and built the 80-store River Oaks Shopping Center. The center's excellent location on U.S. Route 6, a few miles from the Bishop Ford Freeway, brought customers from Chicago's South Side, and a renovation in the early 1990s (completely enclosing the previously open-air mall) maintained its drawing power.
In 2000 Calumet City's population was 39,071, with 54 percent African American and 11 percent Hispanic. Thirteen percent of Calumet City residents reported Polish ancestry, with smaller percentages of German, Irish, and Italian ancestry.