PALOS HILLS, Ill. -- A cheerleading coach at Stagg High School said she was sexually harassed by the school’s athletic director and now she’s the one being fired.
Students said there are a lot of rumors going around about what actually happened. The cheerleading coach said she was treated unfairly because she’s a woman.
In a complaint filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights cheerleading coach Bridget Guzior said District 230’s athletic director Terry Treasure sexually harassed her.
"He kind of made me feel welcome at Stagg like as an athlete. I play Stagg soccer. He’s a really nice guy," Baily Murphy, a junior, said.
In the complaint the cheerleading coach describes how the athletic director repeatedly referred to her as hot, young and in great shape.
She said he made her feel like candy, not a human being – even saying he would have loved to date her if he was younger because she seemed like a woman who knew how to take care of a man. And that as a pretty, young cheerleading coach she needed to smile more.
“She wants her team on point. She’s really strict. She’s really strict. But she’s a good person and a good coach,” Kylia Nash, junior, said.
In her complaint, she details a year of ongoing harassment and said the district is now trying to protect “a loose-lipped man who doesn’t view women as equals.”
But in an October 17 letter, the district said the coach is actually being fired because of an inappropriate text message sent to a student in August.
The coach texted a cheerleader: “[student name], no matter how much we make each other want to bash our heads into a wall (most times a brick wall) I am so proud of the young adult you have become! Looking forward to an awesome year! Drama free curse is over the bitch is gone!”
The student replied, “OMG coach.”
The district said it had previously warned the coach about texting with students. It suspended her without pay on August 30. Then in late September, she came forward to say she had been sexually harassed.
On Twitter Tuesday the coach wrote, “Today we would have began our journey for the first state championship in 30 years. Instead #metoo. It isn’t just happening in Hollywood.”
The school district told us it cannot comment on personnel matters because of privacy laws. A spokesperson issued a statement:
Due to privacy laws, the district cannot discuss the specifics of personnel matters. However, I can provide general information about district policy and procedures.
District 230 has specific policies and procedures prohibiting sexual harassment of employees and students and strives to create a welcoming workplace and school environment free from all types of harassment. The School District encourages employees to report sexual harassment and takes such reports very seriously by conducting thorough investigations and taking swift action when appropriate.
District 230 also believes firmly in investigating all of the facts of any complaint before reaching conclusions about the merits of the report or the guilt of the accused. The School District conducts a thorough investigation of any and all complaints of harassment.
Such investigations are typically handled by the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, and in some instances, District 230 is also assisted by its legal counsel.
On Wednesday the distracted issued a statement saying:
District 230 has decided to amend the agenda for tonight’s meeting to postpone action related to the administration's recommendation to dismiss Bridget Guzior from employment as the Stagg High School cheerleading coach. The School Board wants to assure it takes into consideration additional information that has come forward prior to taking action.
Ms. Guzior’s recommended dismissal is completely unrelated to her recently reported allegations of harassment by the Stagg athletic director. These allegations are under separate investigation by district legal counsel and will be handled consistent with District policies which prohibit sexual harassment of employees and students.
WGN reached out to Treasure but did not hear back.