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Teacher fired over relationship



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Updated: December 24, 2012 7:19AM

After years of enjoying a teacher-student relationship that included exchanging CDs and sharing personal information, Rich East social studies teacher Rocco Rado went out for coffee with an 18-year-old female pupil in April, police said.

When they talked, the Park Forest woman admitted to Rado that she had a crush on him, according to police. He also liked her, she told police, but he was married and was her teacher so they couldn’t possibly be together.

That all changed in May, when Rado told her that his wife had left him and the woman had graduated from the Park Forest school, according to a police report. In June, they were dating, the woman told police.

Now Rado, a teacher at the school since 2001, is facing the consequences of the relationship. He was fired Tuesday after a 5-0 vote by the Rich Township High School District 227 Board, following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct, according to a news release from the district.

“We have to stop this form of preying on youth,” board member Sheila Friday said, explaining the firing. “It doesn’t matter she’s now an adult and she’s no longer a student. In my opinion, he groomed her for the situation they’re in right now.”

Rado, of Matteson, is not facing criminal charges because there was no evidence that the relationship began before the student’s 18th birthday, Park Forest police said.

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