Illinois School for the Deaf teacher under investigation on allegations of sexual misconduct

An Illinois newspaper, The State Journal-Register, reported last week that the Illinois State Police is investigating an Illinois School for the Deaf teacher, Charles Hicks Jr., on allegations of sexual contact with one or more students. Hicks is deaf and worked at ISD for more than 24 years. 

The SJR article said the investigation started last year, in March 2018, and that Hicks was placed on paid administrative leave. He is still on administrative leave. His leave was extended three weeks ago. 

The SJR showed an official letter written by Superintendent Julee Nist to Hicks dated March 2, 2018. Nist told Hicks that he was placed on administrative re-assignment because of an investigation that started on February 28, 2018. 

Nist told him in the letter that he was to not be at any location on campus where students were present, to not work around them, or have any contact with them.

So it has been more than a year and Hicks is still on paid administrative leave. He earns a salary of more than $70,000 a year. 

Hicks is scheduled to return to his job in May, but a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Human Services, who oversees the school, told the SJR that (Hicks) would remain on leave for the duration of the investigation. 

The Daily Moth was in touch with a deaf person familiar with the situation at ISD who confirmed that it was Hicks who was being investigated. The person preferred to remain anonymous. 

The person explained that the investigation started last year after Hicks allegedly texted a female, who used to be an ISD student and had returned to work there, to ask her if she wanted to “do it again.” 

The person said there were reports that Hicks allegedly openly talked about sex with minor students and behaved in an inappropriate way. 

The person explained that there are several women who have revealed themselves to be victims of Hicks in the past.

The person also said that Hicks was in a “boyfriend/girlfriend” relationship with the former superintendent of ISD, Marybeth Lauderdale, who is currently the Director of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. 

The SJR said that the county attorney general is waiting for the probe by state police to be finished before deciding whether to file criminal charges or not. It is not known how long the investigation will last.