Alleged sexual misconduct by Oak Park students under investigation

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OAK PARK -- Police are investigating allegations of sexual misconduct involving students from Oak Park River Forest High School, which the district says happened back in August during an unauthorized off-campus party that happened at a coach's house while he was out of town.

The Oak Park Police Department began its investigation and asked the school not to conduct its own separate inquiry, which was the case until recently.

A letter emailed to parents stated that due to the length of time that has passed, and it was essentially becoming too big of an issue among students and staff, so the district has started its own investigation.
In early November some students were barred from participating in sports.

In the email, Superintendent Dr. Joylynn Pruitt wrote:

"The District began its investigation in late October and is in the process of conducting a thorough investigation, including interviews with the students who were present at the off-campus party, as well as interviews with relevant school staff...Let us be clear: Sexual harassment and misconduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

The district recently suspended popular wrestling coach Mike Powell.

The school won't confirm the connection, but published reports say this was a big topic of discussion at a board meeting last week, with parents and students arguing to bring him back. They say Powell asked some students to take care of his dog while he was out of town, and that’s when the alleged gathering happened.

Tonight some students and parents are disturbed about the nature of the investigation and are hopeful it will wrap up soon.


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