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updated: 4/20/2012 12:39 PM

Stevenson dean resigns amid texting scandal

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A Stevenson High School dean has resigned amid allegations that he sent "inappropriate" text messages to a student.

The Stevenson High School District 125 board accepted the dean's resignation during an executive session Thursday night.

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The dean submitted his resignation Wednesday, said school spokesman Jim Conrey. He is not being identified by the Daily Herald because he has not been criminally charged.

It is not clear how the allegations came to light, but school officials learned of the texts over the weekend, and the dean had been suspended with pay this week. The 13-year Stevenson employee has not been in the high school since the investigation began, Conrey said.

Lincolnshire police were asked to look into the messages and found texts a parent might deem "inappropriate," said Chief Peter Kinsey Wednesday.

The Lake County state's attorney's office was also asked to look at the messages as a precaution, but it is not expected to charge the dean.

Chief Kinsey said none of the messages appeared to be criminal.

School officials declined to release any details of the messages or how long the dean had been text messaging the student.

The dean started as a teacher at the high school in 1999 and became a dean of students in 2008. The school has six deans of students, who primarily deal with discipline issues, Conrey said.

"Anytime there is an incident that jeopardizes (students') well-being, it is a serious matter," Conrey said. "At the same time, this is a very sad day at Stevenson. We are losing a very well respected member of our team who did many good things here over the past 13 years."

Conrey said school officials hope the allegations do not overshadow the man's accomplishments during his time at Stevenson.

"He's a good man and has meant a lot to this school," Conrey said.

The latest controversy regarding texting at the school, follows a drug probe earlier this year that involved school officials seizing students cellphones.

The tactics sparked a heated debate in the community, but the school board defended the inspection of text messages on students' cellphones.

Two students were charged with delivery and possession of cannabis in juvenile court following the investigation, which focused on more than 1,000 text messages.

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