LAKE BLUFF — The Lake Bluff Police Department is investigating allegations of illegal sexual conduct by a Lake Bluff Middle School teacher between 30 and 40 years ago.
Police first learned about allegations in June from social media postings in the community about “inappropriate, illegal sexual conduct” by a teacher who worked at the school in the 1970s and 1980s, according to a news release from the police department.
The teacher is no longer at the school, according to the release.
Some community members who were students at the school during that time have been doing their own investigation as well, according to Jim Moss of Lake Bluff. He said he was a student at the time and is part of the informal group.
Moss said the teacher taught at the school between 1975 and 1985, and that he resigned in 1985.
“When the school board decided it was going to open disciplinary proceedings against him in 1985 he abruptly left,” said Moss in a DailyNorthShore.com interview. “It did not seem (suspicious) to us then but looking back we started to think differently.”
Lake Bluff Deputy Police Chief Mike Hosking confirmed there was an ongoing investigation about students and a teacher at the school between 1975 and 1985, but he declined to provide any names. He said he cannot comment further on an ongoing investigation.
Moss said he and others requested information from the school through a Freedom of Information Act Request and are trying to learn more on their own.
Though the teacher is no longer in the area, he is teaching in California and has been there for approximately 20 years, according to Moss. Moss said he and the other members of the community looking into the past events want to make sure there are no more victims.
“I’ve talked to an expert who says it is very rare anyone changes this kind of behavior,” said Moss. “We want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other children.”
Once Lake Bluff police learned about the allegations, the department began taking a look, according to the release. Investigators have been interviewing and reaching out to potential victims and individuals who were part of the social media exchanges.
Efforts are being coordinated with the Lake County State’s Attorney, the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center and the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, according to the release. Investigators have also received information from the school.
Though the passage of time creates challenges for the investigation, Lake Bluff Police Chief David Belmonte said in the release the department’s resolve remains strong. People with information can contact the department at 847-234-8760.