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Rich East teacher suspended for alleged ‘inappropriate conduct’

A teacher at Rich East High School in Park Forest has been placed on administrative leave for alleged “inappropriate conduct” involving a recent graduate of the school, Rich Township High School District 227 said in a statement Friday.

The district said it has launched an investigation into the accusation and is cooperating with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as well as Park Forest police. The district did not identify the faculty member.

District 227 Supt. Donna Leak said in the statement that the allegation came to light Sept. 17, when another student at Rich East told a teacher about inappropriate conduct between the suspended teacher and a student who has since graduated from Rich East.

Leak said police and DCFS were notified Tuesday about the allegation, and the teacher was placed on paid leave that day.

Nikitta Foston, a spokeswoman for District 227, declined to comment on what subject the teacher taught, the gender of the teacher or the alleged victim or when the victim graduated from the school.

“At District 227, our No. 1 priority is, and always will be, the welfare, safety and education of our students,” Leak said in the statement. “If warranted by the results of these investigations, the district will not hesitate to take appropriate disciplinary action, including dismissal.”

The district referred questions to Park Forest police, who were not available to comment on their investigation.

This past week, Bryan Craig, a former girls basketball coach at Rich Central, also part of District 227, was fired as a guidance counselor at the school for penning a racy self-help book that included crude comments about women’s anatomy and how they could please men sexually and urged them to be promiscuous.

The district also faces a lawsuit, filed in 2010, by a former student who alleges a teacher at Rich South High School sexually assaulted him. The lawsuit says the female teacher twice had sex in November 2008 with the then-16-year-old boy. The teacher resigned after being placed on administrative leave.



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