Fenton school board sued by ex-student who says teacher sexually abused her

A former student is suing the Fenton High School District 100 school board, saying it failed to take action against a teacher that could have prevented him from sexually abusing her.

The woman, identified only as Survivor A, attended Fenton High School in Bensenville. She filed the suit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

  Parents and students packed a Fenton High School District 100 board meeting in March. Susan Sarkauskas/

The lawsuit accuses the school board of knowingly cooperating because the man’s behavior had been reported starting in 2009, but the district continued to employ the man, including promoting him.

“Defendant assisted (the man) by refusing to reprimand, punish, remove and/or report him and knowingly providing (the man) with the ideal venue, environment and atmosphere to commit the same horrific grooming, harassment and sexual abuse against numerous students,” the lawsuit states.

“We received a complaint from a law firm representing a former student. We don’t have any further comment at this time, as our attorneys are reviewing the document,” Rick Kambic, director of communications and community engagement for the district, said Thursday.

The board fired the man in March.

The lawsuit alleges the student was sexually harassed, sexually assaulted and sexually abused by the teacher. And despite being made aware of “numerous allegations” about the teacher's behavior, the school board did not fire him, according to the suit.

The teacher is named in the lawsuit. But the Daily Herald has not named him because he has not been charged criminally.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages and for a judge to order the school board to institute policies, procedures, training and supervision to prevent grooming, harassment and assaults.

According to the district, it received several anonymous tips in 2016 about alleged assaults. The students denied the allegations. The tips were investigated by police and investigators with the state's attorney's office and were deemed unfounded, according to the district.

The district said that it did discipline the teacher in 2011 and 2012 for inappropriate communication with students.

More anonymous tips, some involving the students previously interviewed, were received in 2023. A teacher also reported a former student had told him the teacher had abused her.

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