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Bensenville, IL - Parents Demand Investigation into Alleged Sexual Misconduct By Teacher With Student at Fenton High School

Bensenville, IL - Demands for Investigation into Alleged Sexual Misconduct By Teacher With Student at Fenton High School
Published: April 2, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on April 2, 2024

Illinois High School in Turmoil After Teacher Fired for Alleged Sexual Misconduct

The atmosphere was charged with emotion as concerned parents gathered in large numbers for a special board meeting held on March 29, 2024, Friday night at Fenton High School, located at 1000 W Green St, Bensenville, IL 60106. The meeting was convened in response to escalating demands for an external investigation following the termination of a teacher on grounds of alleged sexual misconduct, according to WGN TV.

During the meeting, board members placed Superintendent James Ongtengco on administrative leave and appointed Fenton High School Principal Samuel Bentsen as interim superintendent. This decision comes after a number of tense meetings centered around a former Fenton High School teacher who was fired last week, following months of paid leave, due to sexual misconduct allegations dating back over a decade.

"Our main concern is the safety of the students," said parent Julia Styrczula. Many upset parents are now demanding an outside investigation and the removal of any administrators familiar with the accusations.

Bensenville Village President Frank Desimone issued a letter on Friday expressing the need for outside oversight. "At this point in time, there are simply too many questions left unanswered and it remains unclear who knew about these allegations, when they knew and why they chose to do nothing," Desimone said.

Public comments took place at the end of the meeting, with parent Joshua Dakins calling for the board to move public comment to the beginning of the meeting so their voices could be heard before going into a closed session.

A 42-page report leaked online in early March, appeared to show an active investigation into allegations that an employee had sexual relations with at least one female student, with some of the allegations dating back more than 10 years. The report revealed that anonymous tips were received by the district, prompting a police investigation last fall. These tips provided details on an alleged sexual relationship between the employee and a student approximately 10 years ago, as well as ongoing contact between them as recently as last spring.

Protesters are also calling for the Bensenville Police Department to submit the results of their multi-month investigation to the DuPage County State's Attorney's office for possible charges against the high school employee. Numerous concerned parents are now calling for an independent investigation and the immediate removal of any administrators associated with the accusations.

Brian Kent - Attorney
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Legal Rights for Victims of Teacher Sexual Abuse

We sat down with Brian Kent, an experienced Illinois sexual assault attorney, to discuss the legal rights available to families of children who have suffered sexual abuse by teachers. With a focus on holding negligent schools and school districts accountable, this conversation digs deeper into the legal avenues victims and their families can pursue to seek justice and compensation.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Brian, thank you for joining us today.

Attorney Brian Kent (BK): Thank you for having me, Darla. It's an important topic that needs to be addressed.

DM: When it comes to cases of child sex abuse by teachers, what legal options do these children and their families have?

BK: Victims of sexual abuse by teachers or other school employees have legal recourse to seek justice and compensation for the harm they have endured. They can file a civil lawsuit against the responsible parties, which may include the teacher, the school, and even the school district.

DM: How does the legal system protect these victims and ensure their rights are upheld?

BK: The legal system recognizes the severe impact of sexual abuse on victims, especially children. Laws are in place to protect the rights of these victims and hold the responsible parties accountable. It is important for victims and their families to consult with an experienced sexual abuse attorney who can guide them through the legal process and help them understand their rights.

DM: Can you briefly explain the concept of holding negligent schools and school districts responsible for the actions of their teachers?

BK: Schools and school districts have a duty to ensure the safety and well-being of their students. When they fail to adequately screen, supervise, or respond to reports of sexual abuse by their teachers, they can be held liable for their negligence. This can include financial compensation for the victim's pain and suffering, medical expenses, therapy costs, and other damages resulting from the abuse.

DM: What advice do you have for parents and guardians who suspect or discover that their child may be a victim of sexual abuse by a teacher?

BK: First and foremost, it is crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of the child. Report the abuse to the appropriate authorities immediately. Secondly, seek legal guidance from an experienced sexual abuse attorney who can protect the rights of the child and provide support throughout the legal process.

DM: Thank you, Brian, for explaining some of the legal rights available to children who have suffered from sexual abuse by a teacher.

BK: Thank you, Darla, for bringing attention to this critical topic. It's essential for the community to understand the legal options available to victims and their families in order to seek justice and hold accountable those responsible for such heinous acts.

Free Consultation: Protecting Your Rights and Seeking Justice

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse by a teacher, we are here to help. Our experienced team understands the sensitive nature of these cases and is dedicated to protecting your rights and seeking justice on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and to receive the support and guidance you need during this difficult time. Remember, you don't have to face this alone – we are here to stand by your side and fight for the justice you deserve.



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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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