Stevenson dean put on leave after video showing confrontation with students surfaces

  • District 125 informed parents Thursday that it had placed a Stevenson High School dean on administrative leave over a confrontation with students.

      District 125 informed parents Thursday that it had placed a Stevenson High School dean on administrative leave over a confrontation with students. Scott C. Morgan | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/5/2020 6:10 AM

Stevenson High School has placed a dean on administrative leave after a video showing a confrontation with students sparked allegations of racism.

District 125 Superintendent Eric Twadell and Stevenson Principal Troy Gobble announced the decision in an email sent Thursday to parents, guardians and students. They did not identify the dean. Spokesman Jim Conrey said the district had no further comment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"At Stevenson High School, we expect all of our professional educators to be respectful, appropriate and professional in their interactions with students," the email read. "Our work around equity, race and diversity continues to be focused on building awareness and how to confront acts of racism personally, immediately and locally."

The video, recorded before Illinois schools closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was uploaded to Facebook on Wednesday afternoon. The emailed statement by Twadell and Gobble was posted Thursday afternoon on Facebook.

The video begins with the dean and two other supervisors approaching boys at lunch table to discuss whether any of them had touched a security camera. The dean sends a white student to the dean's office.

The dean starts to walk away but returns when the remaining students laugh and make comments. The dean approaches a black student at the table and asks to see his student identification.

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After the dean tosses the student's ID card on the table, the black student asks why the dean is being disrespectful. The dean then sends the black student to the dean's office.

Twadell and Gobble's email said the dean will remain on administrative leave pending an investigation.

"Thank you to those who have reached out over the past few days," the email reads. "It is clear we have not lived up to our high standards. Our school should be a safe space for every student, at all times."

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