A special meeting will be held at 7 p.m. today to allow parents to ask questions about the recent firing of Libertyville High School Band Director Jeff Daeschler, who district officials said was let go due to allegedly having "an inappropriate physical relationship" with a former student.
In a letter to band parents and students Jan. 14, District 128 Superintendent Prentiss G. Lea and LHS Principal Marina Scott said the inappropriate relationship took place when the girl attended LHS several years ago.
The District 128 voted during a special meeting Jan. 14 to dismiss Daeschler.
"In addition, D128 is working with district legal counsel to pursue revocation of his Illinois teaching certificate through the Illinois State Board of Education," Lea and Scott wrote in the letter.
Here is the text of the letter:
"Dear LHS Band Parents and Students,
The Community High School District 128 Board of Education acted on our recommendation to dismiss LHS Band Director Jeff Daeschler from his teaching duties at a Special Board meeting on Monday, January 14, 2013. The Board voted unanimously to dismiss Mr. Daeschler for having an inappropriate physical relationship with a former LHS student when she attended LHS several years ago. In addition, D128 is working with district legal counsel to pursue revocation of his Illinois teaching certificate through the Illinois State Board of Education.
Although legal requirements prevent us from revealing specific information about the investigative process, we handled this matter with the utmost urgency it deserved and immediately followed all legally required reporting and investigative protocols. Mr. Daeschler was immediately removed from his
teaching duties pending the final outcome of the investigation. Our dismissal recommendation and the Board decision to dismiss Mr. Daeschler were based on the weight and validity of investigative evidence.
These types of allegations raise high levels of concern for you as parents, your children and us as school administrators, and are often frustrating because investigative and legal requirements prevent us from being as forthcoming with you as we would like to be throughout the process. In addition, in a substantiated case like this, there is a victim. We want to do everything possible to protect her identity, so that she is not victimized again through public exposure of her identity throughout and after the process.
As always, we will continue to do everything possible to ensure that all D128 students are safe and secure in our schools and with our staff. We will continue to act quickly to thoroughly investigate any allegation of inappropriate behavior by our staff toward students, and we will rely on the investigative evidence to render a final determination.
Moving forward, we remain committed to maintaining the high caliber Band program to which our community has been accustomed. In that regard, Mr. Daeschler’s classes are being taught by D128 music instructors from Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School. We are also in discussions with former LHS Band Director Mr. Don Shupe, who retired in 2010, about his return to the program in February. As you know, Mr. Shupe is an accomplished and celebrated Band Director. As we look toward preparing for the 2013-2014 school year and beyond, we will be posting the open LHS Band Director position this spring. The selection committee will include a parent representative toinsure community input in hiring the best possible candidate.
We realize that this has been a difficult situation for everyone involved, and we appreciate your continued assistance and support as we work toward the best possible teaching situation for our band students.
If you have further questions, we will be available to meet with parents on Tuesday, January 15th at 7:00 p.m. in the LHS Studio Theatre, or you can contact us at your convenience."