Stevenson High School dean involved in videotaped confrontation with student resigns
A Stevenson High School dean whose videotaped exchange with a student sparked allegations of racism has resigned, school officials said Tuesday.
The District 125 Board of Education accepted the resignation of Nicholas Valenziano at its meeting Monday night, Stevenson spokesman Jim Conrey wrote in an email Tuesday morning.
Valenziano was hired as a business education teacher at the Lincolnshire school in 2005, and was appointed as a dean of students in 2013, according to Conrey.
The district will not be making any further comment, he wrote.
School officials initially placed Valenziano on leave after a video of his confrontation with students was shared on Facebook earlier this month.
The video, recorded before the school closed in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows Valenziano and two other school employees approaching boys at lunch table asking whether they had touched a security camera.
After ordering a white student to the dean's office, Valenziano starts to walk away but turns back when the remaining students laugh and make comments. He approaches a black student at the table and asks to see his student identification.
When the dean then tosses the student's ID card on the table, the black student asks why he is being disrespectful. Valenziano then sends the black student to the dean's office.
In an email sent to students and parents the day after the video became public, District 125 Superintendent Eric Twadell and Stevenson Principal Troy Gobble wrote that they expect educators to be respectful, appropriate and professional in their interactions with students at all times.
"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," they wrote.