Maine Township to discuss another high school employee in hazing scandal
BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN AND JON SEIDEL Staff Reporters January 22, 2013 2:47PM
Former Maine West Coach Michael Divincenzo, pictured in the high school's 2010 yearbook. | Sun-Times files
Updated: February 24, 2013 6:26AM
The fate of another Maine West High School employee connected to hazing allegations will be discussed at a special school board meeting Thursday, a spokesman for the school district said.
The board last month voted to fire the coach at the center of the hazing scandal and left the door open to further employee discipline.
At the Thursday meeting Maine Township High School District 207 school board members will go into closed session to discuss the “appointment, employment, compensation, performance, discipline or dismissal of specific employees,” according to the agenda.
Dave Beery, the district’s spokesman, said the matter is related to the hazing allegations but declined to provide further details.
The district’s board has voted to fire Maine West varsity soccer coach Michael Divincenzo for allegedly letting varsity players go on a “campus run” in September where they allegedly hazed less-senior players by assaulting them and sodomizing them with fingers and sticks, among other accusations. Divincenzo has asked for a hearing to contest the board’s accusations.
Similar claims are made in a lawsuit filed against the Maine Township schools that also names Divincenzo, freshman soccer coach Emilio Rodriguez and Maine West High School Principal Audrey Haugan. Both coaches have so far declined to comment, but both denied any knowledge of the alleged hazing, according to Des Plaines police reports. Rodriguez has been reassigned with pay and has not been allowed on school grounds since October.
Haugan has declined to comment.
At Thursday’s meeting, the board apparently will hire an attorney to conduct an independent investigation of the hazing claims, according to the agenda.
The meeting’s agenda also indicates the board will hire a consultant to create focus groups made up of students, parents and staff to study bullying and hazing and create recommendations for the district to implement.