Western Courier

School Board responds to concern: No comment made on sexual assault case details

Macomb+Junior-Senior+High+School%2C+where+two+former+students+claim+the+were+sexually+assaulted+by+a+former+male+student%2C+and+where+they+claim+administrators+ignored+the+incidents+in+a+lawsuit+filed+Feb.+16.
Macomb Junior-Senior High School, where two former students claim the were sexually assaulted by a former male student, and where they claim administrators ignored the incidents in a lawsuit filed Feb. 16.

Macomb Junior-Senior High School, where two former students claim the were sexually assaulted by a former male student, and where they claim administrators ignored the incidents in a lawsuit filed Feb. 16.

Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Macomb Junior-Senior High School, where two former students claim the were sexually assaulted by a former male student, and where they claim administrators ignored the incidents in a lawsuit filed Feb. 16.

Nicholas Ebelhack, editor-in-chief

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Macomb Community Unit School District 185 published a statement Feb. 26 responding publicly to allegations of negligence and Title IX violations regarding a civil suit filed Feb. 16 claiming school officials ignored sexual assault and harassment claims made by two female students.

The suit, which seeks a jury trial and compensation of no less than $10 million, claims a teen boy who attended Macomb High School from 2014 to 2017 sexually assaulted two former students, who had both transferred to alternative schools following the incident after defendants, which include Principal John Rumley and Assistant Principal Ed Fulkerson, dismissed their claims as only accusations.

“Because we need to respect the judicial process and the privacy of those parties involved, we are not going to discuss, in detail, any pending litigation publicly,” reads the statement from President of the Board of Education Jill Myers and Superintendent of Schools Patrick Twomey.

“However, we want to assure the community the Board and the Administration are taking this lawsuit very seriously, we are actively investigating the underlying allegations, and determining our course of action.”

On Monday, several community members spoke about the lawsuit, claiming a lack of faith in the school’s administration and in how it handles cases of sexual assault and harassment. The school board offered no comment about pending litigation, though Twomey would comment personally on complaints that Macomb teachers don’t care about their students.

“Teachers here absolutely love children,” Twomey said. “They’re compassionate.”

The suit claims both Rumley and Fulkerson responded with ignorance towards multiple claims made by the plaintiffs, citing that Rumley allegedly responded “guys are going to do what guys are going to do,” and that Fulkerson responded that he would not disrupt his school for “girls that accuse people of things.”

The district’s response continues to say that they are taking the allegations seriously, and acknowledge that the nature of the suit has caused community concern.

“We ask that you respect the privacy of the individuals directly involved, and we urge you to respect the judicial process and as it moves forward to determine the circumstances of the issues raid,” reads the statement. “The Board and the Administration take the safety, well-being, and concerns of our students and all in our community very seriously

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
School Board responds to concern: No comment made on sexual assault case details