SD 227 board fires counselor who wrote racy self-help book
BY SARAH ZYLSTRA Correspondent August 28, 2013 3:34PM
Updated: September 30, 2013 7:44AM
Turns out, it was his fault.
At least that’s the way the Rich Township High School District 227 Board sees it in the case of a guidance counselor who authored a racy self-help book titled “It’s Her Fault.”
The board on Tuesday night fired Bryan Craig, a guidance counselor and ex-varsity girls basketball coach at Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields, for misconduct for penning the book that came out last year. The vote was unanimous.
The firing ends an almost yearlong dismissal process. Craig was suspended without pay in September, pending dismissal hearings before a state official.
Craig requested the hearings before a neutral officer appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education. The hearings took place Feb. 14 and April 10 before hearing officer Peter R. Meyers.
Meyers affirmed that the District 227 board had established that Craig engaged in “serious misconduct” and his actions were irremediable under the Illinois School Code. Meyers’ report, dated Aug. 13, recommended that Craig be dismissed.
Reached on his phone, Craig said the school district is “90 percent out of his mind.”
“That’s just a headache gone,” Craig said.
He said the district’s performance in the past year was “laughable” and that he now is in a good place.
“I’ve never been more happy in my life than right now,” Craig said. “My family and everything is wonderful.”
He declined to discuss his current employment status.
“Everybody knows enough already,” Craig said.
Craig’s book, released last August, includes graphic descriptions about his opinion on the differences in the sexual anatomies of women of different races, and it also advises men that the easiest target is a young woman with low self-esteem.
After being suspended without pay in September, Craig sued the district, claiming his book was protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The suit was thrown out in February, and Judge Elaine E. Bucklo wrote that the book was “little more than a lurid account of (Craig’s) own sexual preferences and exploits.” Bucklo also wrote, “There is no question that the speech is detrimental to the mission and functions of the employer.”
Craig, of Matteson, had been a faculty member since 2004 and was tenured.
Contributing: Casey Toner