Fenton High School board seeks independent review of school's handling of alleged sexual misconduct

Now-former Fenton High School staffer accused of inappropriate conduct dating back to 2011

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, April 19, 2024
Fenton HS board seeks independent review of sexual misconduct response
The Fenton High School board is seeking an independent review of the school's handling of a former staffer accused of sexual misconduct.

BENSENVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- The Fenton High School board is seeking an independent review into a former staffer accused of sexual misconduct.

The school board has proposed an investigation into how Fenton High School administrators handled the allegations and discipline against the former staff member.

An agenda item for the board to discuss the proposal will be at a meeting on April 24. If approved, the board will seek proposals from external investigators, and then select a proposal at a school board meeting on May 22.

The calls for an independent review come after the school board approved administrative leave last month for Superintendent James Ongtengco after he faced calls from the community to resign over how the district handled the firing of a former school staff member accused of sexual misconduct.

Samuel Bentsen was selected to be the Interim Fenton High School District Superintendent.

There are still many lingering questions about the investigation.

According to the school district superintendent's timeline of the cases, the school investigated at least nine accusations against the former staff member dating back to December of 2011.

Documents provided to ABC7 by a school administrator showed the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was contacted about a complaint made against the staffer in December 2016, and that the agency had determined the allegations to be unfounded.

However, not only does DCFS deny being contacted about the staffer until March of last year, but a spokesperson told ABC7 in a statement, "The document in question was created by the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) of DuPage County with no involvement from DCFS. Had DCFS been involved in this investigation, Fenton HS would have been provided a notice from DCFS with our findings and that notice would also exist in the DCFS records system. That is not the case here."

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Authorities at the CAC of DuPage County said they did investigate the allegations in 2016 and determined them to be unfounded.

Currently no charges have been filed against the former staffer under investigation.