Illinois Allows Relationships Between Teachers and Students
When I first saw this story from the Chicago Tribune, I wasn't sure to believe it or not. Apparently, as long as you're 17 or older, and no force is involved, it is legal in Illinois for a teacher to have a relationship with a student. Oh boy. Wait. What? This is actually true?
Back in 2008, a Chicago teacher named Dino Amendola, "was working as a physical education teacher and coach at Morgan Park High School when he began tutoring a vulnerable 17-year-old student who struggled with reading. She confided in him about problems she was having at home, and soon they were speaking on the phone, according to the state hearing officer’s report," said the Chicago Tribune.
When the girl turned 18 in January of 2009 they started having sex. The locations were a bit unsavory. Records show that they started having relations in his truck and then in his office during school hours.
"In many other states, having sex with a student is a crime regardless of age because the teacher has power over the student’s future and is in a position of trust. But in Illinois, a teacher can legally have sex with a student if the student is older than 17 and no force is involved," according to the Chicago Tribune.
The student later became pregnant alleging he asked her to get an abortion to "save his career." She eventually had a miscarriage. Amendola lost his teaching license in 2014 but no criminal charges were brought.
“For a teacher to take advantage of that power and control to engage in an inappropriate sexual relationship is at least negligent and arguably immoral, if not cruel or criminal,” a state hearing officer wrote in upholding his dismissal.
According to the Chicago Tribune, "Because of the student’s age, however, there were no criminal charges. The district denied misconduct but settled the student’s civil lawsuit by paying $30,000."
That's it? I was thinking more like $300,000 but that's just me. You learn something every day. That's what they say anyway. Today it's definitely true. There are a lot more details to this story and you can find them all HERE.