Chicago Principal: Departure of Teacher Accused of Sexual Assault Is ‘Bittersweet’

Senn High School in Chicago
David Wilson/Flickr

The principal of a Chicago high school has come under fire for writing that the departure of a teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student is “bittersweet.”

Principal Mary Beck of Senn High School in Chicago raised eyebrows this week when she wrote that the departure of a teacher that was charged with the sexual assault of a student is “bittersweet.” Senn High School Theater Director Joel Ewing is accused of engaging in a long relationship with a student that began when she was 15-years-old.

Beck penned a letter to the Senn High School community to address Ewing’s departure. In the letter, Beck said that she was excited that Ewing was engaging in a new endeavor. Then, Beck said that Ewing’s departure from Senn High School is “bittersweet.”

“This year we are beginning without our founding theater teacher Joel Ewing, who, with his family, is leaving Chicago to pursue a new opportunity,” Beck wrote in the letter. “As excited as we are for him on this new endeavor, his departure from Senn Arts is bittersweet.”

An hour after the letter went out, Beck sent a second letter apologizing for the tone of the first.

A spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools released a brief statement, calling Beck’s letter “inappropriate” given the severe allegations against the teacher.

“It was inappropriate to have characterized Mr. Ewing’s departure in such terms while an investigation was ongoing into the serious allegations against him,” CPS spokeswoman Emily Bolton said in a statement.

Ewing was in court on Tuesday to respond to the charges against him. The student, who is now 21, spoke with local authorities in July out of concern for the students being taught by Ewing.

Breitbart News reached out to Senn High School for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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