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Bensenville, IL – Fenton High School, located at 1000 W Green St, Bensenville, IL 60106, has been embroiled in a scandal after bombshell accusations of sexual misconduct were made public. On Friday, March 26, 2024, a packed crowd of concerned parents gathered at a special board meeting at the high school to continue their demands for an outside investigation.

The meeting came after an unnamed teacher was fired last week, following months of paid leave, due to allegations of sexual misconduct with students. Many upset parents are now calling for an independent probe and the removal of any administrators familiar with the accusations.

Leaked Report Reveals Ongoing Investigation Into Teacher Sexual Misconduct

In early March 2024, a 42-page report leaked online appeared to show an active investigation into allegations that an employee had sexual relations with at least one female student. While the investigation began in October, some of the allegations mentioned in the report date back more than 10 years. The report shows anonymous tips to the district that led to the police investigation last fall detailing an alleged sexual relationship between the employee and a student nearly 10 years ago and ongoing contact between the two as recent as last spring. The community of Bensenville is demanding transparency, accountability, and justice as they navigate this difficult situation at Fenton High School.

Victim Speaks Out, Accusing School of Failing to Protect Students

On March 20, 2024, a 2022 Fenton graduate, Xochitl Quinones, came forward publicly to share her story at the school board meeting.

“You failed to support me and other young girls who were assaulted and groomed by a monster that you protected, empowered, and promoted as a community hero,” Quinones said. “He had a pattern of victims and none of you seem to care.”

Current students who addressed the board said they are traumatized and no longer feel safe in the school’s halls.

Parents Seek Transparency and Justice from Fenton High School

“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.“In a normal situation like this, they normally put people on leave, investigate what’s going on, what went wrong, and obviously, if the person did what they are supposed to, you put them back in their position,” Styrczula added. 

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.

Bensenville Community Demands Accountability After Teacher Fired for Alleged Sexual Misconduct

A teacher accused of sexual misconduct has been fired, but parents and students say it’s not enough. During the meeting on Friday, March 26, 2024, board members placed Superintendent James Ongtengco on administrative leave and appointed Fenton High School Principal Samuel Bentsen as interim superintendent.

Parents Accuse School of Covering Up Teacher’s Sexual Abuse of Students

“It is fair to ask our leaders to be accountable and explain to us why you did what you did, because it is now hurting us,” said Patrick Escobedo, president of the Fenton Education Association.

Parent Julia Styrczula echoed the sentiment, saying, “Our hope to see right now is a clean slate. We need action, we need everything to be changed, we need to start over, we need a fresh board, we need a fresh superintendent, we need a fresh principal.”

No Criminal Charges Filed Amid Ongoing Police Investigation

The allegations stem from an ongoing police investigation into alleged misconduct by a former Fenton High School teacher, who has been accused of inappropriate sexual relations with students. The Bensenville Police Department says they were made aware of an alleged crime last October, which occurred at Fenton High School at least seven years prior.

Community members now claim school officials have been hiding the allegations and covering up for the former staffer, alleging the sexual misconduct dates back further than seven years.

School Officials Respond, Vow to Maintain Student Safety

In a letter to families prior to being placed on leave, Superintendent Ongtengco stated, “We are committed to maintaining the safety of our students. In doing so, we always partner with local law enforcement when allegations of a crime are shared with us.” School Board President Cary Lewis acknowledged the community’s “frustrations” and said the board is “committed to fostering a safe and supportive learning environment.”

The Fenton High School community is demanding accountability, transparency, and a complete overhaul of the school’s leadership in the wake of these disturbing allegations.

Understanding the Legal Rights of Children Sexually Abused by Teachers

To better understand the legal options available to school sexual abuse victims and their families, we sat down with local Illinois sexual abuse lawyer Brian Kent. Brian explained the path to justice and accountability for victims sexually abused by a teacher and the importance of holding the school district accountable for any failures to protect students.

Laurence Banville, Esq. (LB): Brian, thank you for joining us.

Brian Kent, Esq. (BK): Thank you for having me, Laurence. It’s important to go over the legal rights of vulnerable victims and the accountability of schools and school districts in such cases.

LB: Absolutely. Let’s start by addressing the legal options available to children who have suffered sexual abuse by a teacher. What recourse do they have?

BK: Victims of sexual abuse by teachers have the right to seek justice and compensation through legal means. They can initiate a civil lawsuit against the responsible parties, including the teacher, the school, and potentially the school district, depending on the circumstances.

LB: How does the legal system ensure the protection of these victims’ rights?

BK: Our legal system recognizes the profound impact of sexual abuse, particularly on children. There are mechanisms in place to safeguard the rights of these victims and ensure their voices are heard. It is crucial for victims to understand their rights and consult with an experienced attorney who can guide them through the legal process.

LB: When it comes to holding schools and school districts accountable for the actions of their teachers, what legal avenues can be pursued?

BK: Schools and school districts have a duty to safeguard the well-being of their students. If they fail to fulfill this duty by inadequately screening, supervising, or responding to reports of abuse, they can be held liable for negligence. Victims and their families can take legal action to seek compensation for the damages they have suffered.

LB: What advice would you give to parents or guardians who suspect or discover that their child may be a victim of sexual abuse by a teacher?

BK: The immediate priority should be the safety and well-being of the child. It is crucial to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities without delay. Additionally, seeking legal guidance from an experienced sexual abuse attorney is essential. They can protect the rights of the child and provide invaluable support throughout the legal process.

LB: Thank you, Brian, for providing this valuable information and shedding light on the legal rights of children who have suffered from sexual abuse by a teacher.

BK: Thank you, Laurence, for providing this platform to raise awareness. It is crucial for the community to understand the legal options available to victims and their families. By doing so, we can empower them to seek justice and hold accountable those responsible for these heinous acts.

Seeking Justice and Support for Students Sexually Abused By a Teacher

No one should have to suffer the trauma of sexual abuse, especially at the hands of those entrusted with their care. By coming forward and pursuing legal action, you not only seek the justice you deserve, but you also send a powerful message that such misconduct will not be tolerated. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and how we can help you move forward. Together, we can work to ensure safety, transparency, and accountability at schools.


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