SD 227 board to decide future of counselor who penned sex book
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org September 17, 2012 6:22PM
Rich Central High School girl's basketball coach Bryan Craig. l Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 19, 2012 6:13AM
The Rich Township High School District 227 Board on Tuesday night is expected to decide the fate of a guidance counselor and former girls basketball coach who wrote a sexually explicit self-help book.
The board meets at 7 p.m. at Rich South High School, 5000 Sauk Trail in Richton Park. Before the regular meeting, it will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m., with board members going into closed session to discuss disciplining Bryan Craig, board members said. Any action would have to be voted on in open session.
Craig, a faculty member since 2004, last month was suspended as a counselor at Rich Central High School and resigned as girls varsity basketball coach 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.
Supt. Donna Simpson Leak said she knew about the book for about a week before Craig was suspended. She initially said Craig “has his constitutional right to free speech.”
At a Sept. 4 meeting, the board postponed any decision regarding Craig pending an investigation by the district’s law firm and a hearing for Craig, who is tenured.
Craig, 33, of Matteson, has not been allowed on District 227 property in the interim, according to district officials.
At least two board members indicated they weren’t in favor of having Craig return to counseling duties.
“As far as sticking around, with the mind-set that’s in that book, I wouldn’t be real comfortable with him counseling students,” Cheryl Coleman said. “I’m not feeling real strong about it.”
Board member Alyssa Hernandez said she was disappointed by Craig.
“The issue is, can our children believe and trust or look at him in the same light?” Hernandez said.
Firing Craig outright may prove difficult because of his tenure, according to Rick Grenzebach, an attorney who specializes in school law. The board must prove that Craig can’t fix his mistake in order to fire him, and if he is fired, Craig can appeal to the Illinois State Board of Education, which can take months, Grenzebach said.
“They’re tough cases,” Grenzebach said.