Alleged student sexual assault at Homewood-Flossmoor High School under investigation

Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Student allegedly sexually assaulted at Homewood-Flossmoor HS
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District 233 is investigating an alleged assault involving two students on-campus at Homewood Flossmoor High School.

FLOSSMOOR, Ill. (WLS) -- A south suburban high school is investigating an alleged assault that took place Monday on campus.

The alleged sexual assault happened at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

In a note to families, school officials said they are cooperating with a police investigation.

In the letter, District 233 said it is aware of an alleged assault at Homewood-Flossmoor High School involving two students on campus Monday morning.

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"While we cannot share specifics about the situation due to the ongoing investigation and confidentiality of the minors, we are communicating with students and families the information we can. We will provide additional information as the situation develops," administrators wrote.

The alleged victim's mother said Homewood-Flossmoor administrators have long failed to acknowledge incidents of sexual assault and harassment, and what allegedly happened to her daughter is part of a disturbing pattern.

The mother, who has not been identified, said her daughter, who is a minor, was sexually assaulted over the course of 20 minutes by a classmate during a morning theater class, which administrators said had broken into small groups.

In a statement, the mother said, "During that time, she was crying. No one came to her assistance. No staff or professional educator did anything to protect her from this horrific, life changing event."

Flossmoor police said they took a male juvenile into custody and, after questioning him at the police department, released him to his father. The investigation is ongoing.

Some students who did not want to be identified said they're surprised about the allegations and hope to learn more.

"Unfortunately, I don't know because you never know what could take place and what can't take place. In this world, you might not ever know," one student said.

Another had concerns about the incident.

"It could've happened, but, me personally, I do not know at all," the student said. "It is most definitely frustrating because you never know. It could happen again, or it could've happened multiple times and nobody could've said anything."

School district officials said they held a student forum attended by about 85 students after school Tuesday to discuss their concerns and potential solutions. Officials said the meeting was largely held in smaller groups led by social workers, school counselors and school psychologists.

The superintendent and the principal are telling students to contact their social worker or school counselor if they need support.

School officials also shared information about protocols, saying "in terms of our process, all allegations of sexual assault are reported to the parents/guardians of the students and local law enforcement officials."

Administrators said they followed proper protocols Monday, including immediately contacting police and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. But the mother said her daughter was not immediately taken to a hospital, and was left in a room alone for a four hours before family was allowed to see her.

Some students are planning a walkout later this week, similar to one held this past spring that was also in protest of the school's handling of sexual assault complaints.

The mother expected to speak to the press on Wednesday.