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Updated July 31, 2012 – 8:50 p.m.

Forest Park School District 91 Assistant Principal Michelle Gossett stepped up to teach the final two weeks of summer school after the district canceled and then reinstated an intensive remedial summer school class for 18 students at Forest Park Middle School.

The district found itself without a teacher after the instructor took an early vacation, following the theft of her district credit card by a 14-year-old female student.

Forest Park police said the girl used the card to make Internet purchases, which were delivered to her parents’ home. Police detectives interviewed the student Tuesday at the school. A school source, who declined to be named, said the teacher had a credit card stolen from her previously.

The teacher, who had only been contracted to work until Thursday, took two early vacation days and left after Tuesday’s class. A substitute “declined the position and we were unable to get a replacement,” wrote Superintendent Louis Cavallo in an email to the Forest Park Review. Cavallo said the substitute had a death in the family. He did not give a timeline for when the substitute teacher pulled out.

Gossett, who is in charge of the summer school, contacted parents by phone over the weekend and told them that summer school was back on. The remaining 17 students returned to the program, Gossett said.

The summer program targets students who need remedial help prior to the start of the new school year, which begins Aug. 23.

Cavallo said the district’s disciplinary actions against the student were confidential. Police said the investigation was ongoing and no arrests had yet been made. Police declined to reveal how much had been charged to the credit card.

“Unlawful use of a credit card is a felony [for adults],” said Deputy Police Chief Thomas Aftanas. “A minor might be asked to pay restitution or perform community service or be put on juvenile probation.”

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...