Before sex book, ex- Rich Central girls coach had run-in with co-worker’s husband
BY CASEY TONER email@example.com September 19, 2012 6:30PM
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:46PM
A Rich Central High School counselor who was fired Tuesday for writing a sexually graphic self-help book found himself in trouble with school officials at least twice previously, the SouthtownStar has learned.
Bryan Craig was suspended for five days in 2010 for referring students to a private tutoring company — for which the company was to compensate him — and in 2009 was reprimanded by a principal after a man showed up at school, caused a disturbance, and said Craig was having a relationship with his wife, a school cafeteria worker, records show.
Craig was suspended as a counselor at Rich Central last month after a SouthtownStar report on a book he wrote, “It’s Her Fault,” which contains his controversial and often crude views on women and sex. He also resigned as girls varsity basketball coach.
The book includes graphic descriptions about his opinions on vaginal differences between women of different races and said “the easiest kill for a man is through the young lady with low self-esteem.”
The Rich Township High School District 227 Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to fire Craig, saying his conduct “fell far short of our expectations and evoked outrage” among board members and others.
The previous discipline issues were not a factor in Craig’s firing, according to his attorney, Stephen Richards.
“What that has to do with the price of tea in China, I’m not sure,” Richards said. “He was fired for the book, not anything else.”
Richards said Tuesday that Craig was considering suing the district over his ouster or appealing to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.
In the matter that led to Craig’s suspension in 2010, he inappropriately identified and recruited students in order to have their parents select a specific company, School Service Systems, for tutoring services — a violation of the Illinois Administrative Code — according to records.
District 227 also said Craig arranged for other Rich Central personnel to meet with representatives of School Service Systems on district property so they could help him recruit students, according to records. He also completed applications for the services on behalf of students and their parents, and instructed other teachers to do so, according to records.
In addition to being suspended, Craig was warned after that that any additional incidents of misconduct would result in additional discipline, up to and including termination, records show.
A year earlier, then-Rich Central Principal Maceo Rainey reprimanded Craig after the husband of a cafeteria worker showed up at school in December 2008 and claimed Craig was having an affair with his wife, records show.
According to the reprimand letter, Craig contacted the woman to meet for drinks to counsel her. But he failed to show that his intentions were “professional and not personal,” according to the letter, and when her husband came to school and claimed his wife and Craig were having an affair, it created “unsafe working conditions,” according to records.
Although Olympia Fields police were called to the school, no one was charged, police said. The cafeteria worker denied the affair, saying she told Craig “she needed some counseling,” according to police reports.
Craig told police the woman’s husband had threatened to kill him but that the husband offered to spare his life and those of his family if Craig gave him $2,500, police said.
District 227 board member Cheryl Coleman said she was unaware of the prior incidents, but questioned whether it should have taken three incidents before Craig was fired.
“I wouldn’t know why it would take this long,” Coleman said. “You deal with one issue and you be swift, and fair and consistent.”
Craig, who received tenure in 2008, also faced controversy as the girls varsity basketball coach when the IHSA in February ordered Rich Central to forfeit 16 regular-season games for using an ineligible player. Craig was not disciplined for his role in the matter.