Police: Snapchat app slows high school hazing investigation

Milledgeville, Illinois Police say Snapchat is complicating their investigation into allegations of students at Milledgeville High School sharing sexually explicit photos of another student.

The photo sharing app allows users to take photos and share them with other Snapchat users. The pictures are viewable for a maximum of 10 seconds, then they’re gone. Meaning the evidence police are searching for can disappear in seconds.

“Technology is working against us,” said Jim Haag, Police Chief of the Milledgeville Police Department.

Haag said they are interviewing multiple students at the school in relation to the case. Some of those students involved are on the school’s baseball team.

“We are starting to sort out the facts from fiction. From that, we will determine if it’s a criminal matter or a school discipline matter,” Haag said.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Tim Schurman said Milledgeville Schools will get to the bottom of the case.

“Our district has a very strict policy against bullying, hazing, or any other type of harassment. We take those matters very seriously,” Schurman said.

If the allegations are determined criminal, the Milledgeville Police Department will hand the case over to the State Attorney’s Office. At that point, those involved could be facing felony charges.

78 comments

  • dee anna harksen

    Milledgeville school “says” they have a tough policy on bullies. Just not true. Well they don’t act on it. My son had a pair of over a 100$ shoes urinated on and nothing was done. Nothing will happen in this case either. Not when those accused are into sports. It makes me sick!!!!

    • Rick

      Our grandson attends the high school and is bullied every day. We don’t know what to do as the powers that be don’t seem to care. Many reports to mr. Schurmann and nothing ever gets done. It bothers us as a family to think we send our kids and grand kids out the door every day to a pack of bullies. Oh, if I was young again! I will bet the kids get nothing not only because of the sports but because of who they are. The whole thing should be turned over to the state police. No offense to milledgeville officers, but they are too close to the situation and it would be almost impossible to be impartial. Besides, retribution from some of the parents would make it rough on them also. Milledgeville has become another unit 5. Worse in some cases. I hope the parents at least file a civil suit if nothing is done.

  • dee anna harksen

    I agree Rick. I hate knowing my kids don’t want to go there because of the bullies. Wish the school would ac t on it as much as they speak about how against it they are!!!!!!

  • de

    Don’t blame the school, it’s the parents of the bullies that need ur scorn. The school has punished these kids several times that I know of, but they can’t do much when the bullies’ parents are actually backing these kids. I was literally in a class with one student who got sent to the office by a teacher…he left the room and called his mom, his mom called the school to complain and the student was back in my class before he even made it to the office. Do u think that his mother had ANY idea what was going on?!

  • dee anna harksen

    There is plenty of BLAME to go around but it needs to be stopped. It has been happening to my kids for years. Nothing was ever done. And I doubt it ever will. For so many reasons. The parents don’t discipline the school won’t discipline……because they need more proof…police won’t do anything because it’s a school matter. Just keep passing the buck while everything gets worse. These bullies need to own up. And if they are removed from sports then the parents have to deal with it.

  • c

    I have three children in dist 399 and I have never had any problem with going to the district and discussing something. Granted mine have never been bullied. Actually one of mine has gone to the Mr. S. to tell him about a problem and he listened and he acted. The school board was notified as well. Problem was taken care of. Personally if I ever found out that one of my children was on the giving end of hurting another student physically or emotionally the school couldn’t come close to what I would dish out to them. I have heard all the stuff being said about what happened it is totally disgusting. And if true then those that harmed that innocent kid should be punished by the district and mostly by their parents. I am sorry you have had so many problems with the district listening..maybe go to the school board? just my two cents.

    • c

      oh and my child went to Mr. S about someone being mean to someone else this was 5th grade….maybe if we tell our children to be nice and honest and protect each other and care about each other-our ugly world would be a better place….

  • rick

    I hope it never happens, but if you saw the news last night it said teen suicide is up dramatically. mostly because of bullying. Take those boys out of the school. Out of sports. Permanently. There should be a throng of people there this morning wanting these kids expelled. get the news media involved. Stand up for these kids right before it is too late and one of them caves in and does something stupid to someone or themselves. Does social prominence mean more than human life? I know it sounds radical that I said all of that, but something has to be done. I watched Schurmann on TV last night. All laid back and acting concerned. Bunch of baloney. He has covered his eyes more than once about things. He will do the same this time. Get the state police involved and show the rest of the kids and the crummy parents that bullying will not be tolerated. So far it has been. Both commenters above know our grandson and also know he wouldnt hurt a flea.We as parents, grandparents, and even friends need to stick together. We need to bring this kind of stuff to light through the media if nothing is done. Go to the school board meetings. Stand up as one. Do it for the kids. I beg you.

    • de

      I feel that if you take the kids out of sports, they would just have more time to bully. Taking something they care about away would just make them madder, and they would have more freedom to do stupid $hit

  • david

    Notice how when parents could spank their kids @ss, how low the bullying and suicide rate was. Im not talking about beating to a bloody pulp but tough love. The earlier the years the lesser the bullying and suicides were. History needs to repeat itself in a big way and more ways than one. What would George Washington do?

  • concerned parent

    The supposed rumor is that the three boys on the baseball team get a 5 day suspension & no prom. The boy not on the team gets the same punishment as well as charges being pressed against him. Real justice they enforced isn’t it! I knew Schurman wouldn’t do jack $hit to his precious athletes. The posters above are right. There is alot of bullying in this district & it depends on who you are if it is handled. I firmly believe he is a part of the reason this school is going down the tubes. As far as these three on the team, not their first brush with trouble & it all gets swept under the rug. How does a 17 yr old get busted for drinking & its all wiped away. Oh yes, Mommy & Daddy write a big check!

      • concerned parent

        Kick them out of sports the rest of the year. Maybe next year as well. This isnt the first time these kids have caused trouble. The school needs to stand up for the victim & they’re not. They’re too worried about their sports teams suffering w/o their “stars.” Again, not surprised, that’s small town living. I guarantee if it was a no name bunch of kids that did this, the punishment would be more severe.

  • Sick and Tired

    My kids have been bullied regularly and nothing was done about it. Some of it even extended to my house which got so bad I called the cops. Although it doesn’t seem to be as bad as it was before and my kids rarely complain about it I do know it does happen and I know nothing seems to be getting done about it. I feel for the victims in this case. It sickens me how this kind of things happen and the athletes and/or prominant families get special treatment while the rest get bullied by not only them but the school heirarchy. I hope that something more gets done about this especially since its been made public and in the news but I won’t hold my breath for it.

  • Concerned

    Everyone knows the boys involved have been in trouble. Parents ignore it or blame others for the issues. Some of these kids are the same ones who were suspended from BB team earlier this year for egging houses and cars. Seems like they learned their lesson there. Undoubtedly one of these boys was the ring leader and the rest followed. knowing who they were it was more than likely 2 boys who were doing most of this stuff. What everyone needs to do however is let the evidence all be gathered before we decide they were all guilty and to what degree. This stuff goes on daily all over the United States. Guaranteed if I pulled this stuff back in my day my dad would have made sure I didn’t do it again. I think the ones in sports should be banned for the next year from playing, sorry if that makes them have more time on their hands. At some point there has to be consequences for actions.

    Why are the kids allowed to have their phones in school during day anyway. Gosh back in the dark ages cell phones weren’t invented and all of us made it through the day without calling or texting anyone. And we sure didn’t have the capability to take pictures of each other. NO PHONES IN SCHOOL PERIOD.

  • Jeff

    Two sides

    There is always two sides to every story and I personally think it is a shame that the lynch mobs come out as soon as the TV crew shows up. I know all the kids involved in this mess and I really don’t believe their intentions were evil. Yes, they were wrong in doing what they did but again there is another side to this story. Some of these kids have befriended this individual and have a history of being understanding and caring about him when others wouldn’t. So please, those of you that went through High School and never was mean or inappropriate to another please feel free to cast the first stone.

    • M. Preston

      Seriously Jeff, they didn’t mean any harm. Wow, that sounds pretty naive to me. What was their intention? They are old enough to know right from wrong; I truly feel bad for the victim and his family. No prom, that really sounds like punishment. How about suspension?

  • Aimee

    Why are phones allowed during school hours anyway? NO PHONES. Don’t bring them or they have to be turned off in a locker. Or the school keeps it until the end of the day. Phones are a huge problem. Kids don’t need Internet access and they don’t need these apps that cause so many problems. What happened to kids being kids?

  • graduate of MHS

    I must say that I’ve seen a lot of bullying go down in this school, and i went there my entire life. I feel as if Mr. S has never done a good job when it comes to punishing kids especially ones in sports. They never get the full punishment others get. Even TEACHERS talk shit about some students how is that teaching us anything ? Its all about your name and sports in this district and everyone will dismiss it like they always do.
    Ha I can actually remember when a kid in my class was in trouble for bullying and he got to bring his xbox to school and play it in w room. How far is that. Lol
    The school is a joke people.
    My nephews go there now and we have nothing but problems with kids picking on them

  • rick

    @jeff Lynch mobs? No offense, but there are a group ofpeople that have been complaining about things like this for 3 years that I know of. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING was ever done. Many of the victims were not even supported by the school in any way, and were in some instances blamed for getting themselves bullied! That is not mville gossip or heresay, but the truth. Schurmann doesnt want the sports teams interrupted and has acted on their behalf on more than one occasion. I agree that there are always 2 sides, but in this case the victims side is being overlooked or soft-soaped by people like yourself. Noone wants to believe that a kid they watched grow up would do something like this. People are sick of it Jeff. Kids dont want to go to school because of bullying, upset when they get home from school, etc. I guess until you have seen these things in your own family you dont understand. The complete lackadaisical attitude of Schurmann when it comes to bullying is going to bite him in the butt. He has been talked to about these things previously, but always finds a reason not to do anything about it. Kick the kids out of school. Permanently. Its not their first rodeo. They knew it was wrong when they did it but chose to do it anyway because they knew there would be no repercussions. You can call me part of the lynch mob if you want, but I would rather be stand up for what is blatantly wrong than to sit in a box and pretend that everything is ok. Boys will be boys they say. Not in this case. Bullies are bullies seems more appropriate. Get rid of them. They are no good for the school nor the community.

  • Alum

    It doesn’t take much of a moral compass to know that taking sexually explicit pictures of a special needs kid is wrong. Actually, it’s more than wrong, it is cruel & almost certainly illegal. To me it goes beyond bullying. These kids should not be allowed back in school at all. A 5 day suspension is nothing. Certainly not enough to deter this sort of behavior in the future. I hope these kids are prosecuted. They violated this boy. It’s sick. It’s true, there are two sides to every story and in this case there is a right side and a wrong side.

  • in shock

    Bottom line is these boys took advantage of and humiliated another human being and they must have thought it was really cool because they shared it with others via social media. Thank goodness someone came forward and reported it. I think this can and probably has happened at other schools. I am not gonna knock our school system-but I am hoping the right thing is done. I don’t know how any of the boys involved or their parents for that matter could defend their actions. There is nothing right about being cruel to another student. I hope they are held accountable for what they did and they learn a life lesson here. Otherwise, they are going to have a miserable future. I know bullying has been going on probably forever-kids are kids-but 17 and 18 year olds should know better. If not, I blame the parents, not the school.

  • Sick and Tired

    @ in shock…. I agree with you. The problem is this isn’t the first time these boys have been in trouble and nothing has been done to correct their behavior on any level, whether its parental or the school. Both parties are to blame in my opinion. Yes the boys should know better and probably do, they just don’t care because they can get a way with it. People who don’t have a problem with this or think that it’s just kids being kids have blinders on and seem to have as much care about this as those boys do.. no wonder they don’t seem to have a problem doing it. I don’t understand how schools can be so lax in things like this yet so forceful on other things that really aren’t an issue.

    • Concerned

      Agree, My daughter had to go home and change her shorts last spring because her fingers didn’t reach the bottom of them. They weren’t short by any means. Girls can’t wear racer back shirts even though the high school principal does all the time in the warm weather. Yet we have teachers who can’t teach, but are allowed to continue.

  • in shock

    Technical question – if a student is expelled what happens to them? Do they go to another school district? I obviously don’t know what will happen, but curious as to what happens to the student if expelled? And I know there are rules that are enforced that seem kind of odd but then again I do understand the reason for some of them.

  • MHS

    They befriended this young special Ed kid and then took advantage of him…sickening and demoralizing.The punishment should fit the crime

  • smlltwnkid

    Milledgeville is a small school. They compete in the smallest class in every sport they field an athlete in. They aren’t churning out D1 or even D3 athletes on a regular basis. This isn’t a powerhouse sports high school. It’s laughable that any lack of punishment is attributable to the saving of the ‘program’. There is no program. I played 3 sports for four years there myself. Sports or not, these kids will get whats coming to them. Mr s isn’t going to come out and tell you what the details of the story are on channel 8, sorry folks. An investigation is on a need to know basis, and guess what, you don not need to know at this time. Doubly so since minors are involved. This investigation, due process, carrying out of appropriate punishment, school and legal, will all take time. No way around that. Stay tuned and save your breath. It’s going to be awhile on this one.

    • jeff

      Couldn’t agree more smltwnkid. Sorry to say but usually the people with all the “breath” are the minority with too much time on their hands.

    • Alum

      That has always been the irony of small town sports. The “star” athletes, most of which would never even make the team at a bigger school, are revered & celebrated in a way that isn’t representative of reality. They are the popular kids while things like music or academic achievement – things that might give a student a real future – are mostly ignored. It’s crazy, but it has always been that way. It was that way when I was at MHS in the 90s and I’m sure it was like that long before.

  • deez1968

    It’s so shocking that no one is looking at this as a CRIME!!!! A felony. Sexually explicit pictures sent over social media. A crime committed at the school. It is beyond bullying!!!! 5 days suspension and no prom is not a punishment to fit the crime. And Jeff the people with all the breath are NOT the minority!!!!! They are people who care about the victim!!! And about their kids and the fact that this school has issues the superintendent is and has never done anything to correct.

    • d

      I think your comment needed more !!! in it in order to get your message across. Just not enough !!! to spell things out.

      • deez1968

        There is so much more I could have put in my comment. I am trying to respect all the victims. I am not sure what needs to be spelled out here to get my message out. This is a crime…child pornography to use the correct term….And its HORRIBLE!! I don’t care if it is how small town schools are. I don’t care how wealthy the parents are. I don’t care how great you are at sports. Our sport teams aren’t “winning”. I don’t care what your last name is. This school system wants to talk a good talk but that’s as far as it goes. I agree with whoever said the state police should be the ones investigating this. I have called the principal about a “bully” issue and was told the student denied it so there was nothing that could be done. No one is thinking about what this is doing to the victim. I’d they knew it would rip their hearts out!!! I know it makes me want to cry!!!!-

  • really?

    This is a very sad situation, especially for the victim. I think many of the comments rightly lay blame at the feet of these bullies parents who have covered for them in the past, but I see almost no one questioning the actions of the building principal? Mr. S oversees a totally different building in another town in addition to having superintendent responsibilities. It seems to me that when I was in school it was always the building principal that had the primary duty of dealing out discipline to students who misbehaved not the superintendent. More importantly the bulding principal is the one who sets the tone and the standard of acceptable and expected behavior. It is sad that the past behavior of these bullies has been tolerated and allowed to escalate to this unbelievably sickening level.

  • Milledgeville Graduate

    When I graduated in the early 90’s Milledgeville High School favored athletes and students with prominent last names very much. Heck, it was the same when I attended grade school and junior high too. Sports, sports, sports…what about the arts? All students are equal and all students need attention. Perhaps it’s time for administration to turn this extremely horrible incident/crime into something positive.

  • in shock

    I am so tired of hearing about the school administors or Mr. S..or .our schools should discipline the students. We are parents, we are the people that our children look up to and learn from. The students should have to own up to what they did and the school should make sure students understand that they are accountalbe for not following the rules. I do think though that parents should be more accountable. I don’t know what I have heard is true and you probably don’t either. I do know that if my child ever was in question of any wrong doing he/she would be answering to me and it wouldn’t be pretty. The rich farm stuff is funny cause people think you are rich only if you make sure people know you are. Sometimes the little people that are around are richer than that. If you are in our town, there are people that make you feel really small..the bigger people are the people that know better.

    • Candace Herrick

      Suspension of Athletics for only 5 days was way too soft especially for a school that small… The boys that play sports should have been expelled from all sports regardless of how good they were. I mean no legendary athletic figure is probably ever gonna come out of milledgeville..not only that, they should have been suspended for the rest of the year and been made to spend the lost time being a “super Senior” oh and no prom at all… I call that the school teaching them a lesson

  • just a guy

    Discipline of this magnitude toward a student falls on the school board. The administration can only do so much. If you think the student’s punishment is too light, look to the school board. I do not think anyone here fully understands how the process works. These kids actions were dispicable. No question. The school board suspended these kids to give the law time to sort things out. This is not over by a long shot. If you want to get mad at someone for a lack of severity in the punishment, look to the school board – the administration works for, and takes direction from, them. We do not know what is happening in the kids’ homes. I hope they are being punished my their parents to the max, but who knows? I hope when they return to school they are shunned by the student body. I hope they are never “cool” again, who knows? Hey girls, if this is how they treat a special needs kid, how do you think they will treat women, or other kids one day? Or their own kids? I hope they never date again. Who knows? I think it is naive to say that they have received light punishment in the past because they are atheletes. It’s a small school and there is a high percentage of kids that are athletes – and choir members, play in the band, quiz bowl participants, national honor society, student council. Can anyone cite an act of discipline against a non-athelete that they thought was appropriate? Kids get in trouble all the time, most of the time we don’t hear about it. We do hear about it when the kids involved are in sports. There are important lessons that can be taught by sports, so lets stop blaming the sports themselves. It is riduclous to say that someone got off easy because their parents wrote a check. This is a public school. Financial reports are a matter of public record. If a private citizen made a donation to the school, it would show up in financial records. Please show me when that happened and I will believe it. The “rich” kid is privileged and entitled because that is how his parents treat him, and that is how he was raised. There is something fundamentally wrong with these kids to make them think this was funny or cool. They are not wired right. They were not raised right. The message on the treatment of others may have been sent, but it was not received. They do not think things through to the end. They had no vision of repercussions because they have never had any. The parents will try to blame the school. People will ask, “Where was the supervision?” The school did not do this. Does there really need to be supervision to keep kids from sexually abusing another kid? I hope not, but if there does maybe these kids don’t belong in public school. If we need to watch every single move every single minute of the day we will need cameras focused on every single inch of the school. Privacy rights go right out the window. This is a special needs kid. They should have known better because he did not. Special needs or not, the kids are to blame. Jokes are funny, not cruel, certainly not abusive. This is a case of abuse. Physical, and sexual in nature. Personally I think they should be expelled. I don’t don’t really get a say, because I have never put my name on a ballot. I don’t think any of the people that have posted here have either, but maybe. There are lots of glass houses and a lot of rocks. I know what I would do if it was my kid, I know what I would do if my kid was the victim, and I know what I would do if I had a vote on the school board.

    • Rick

      I do agree with all you have said, but in defense of myself and others that have posted here, I think this criminal act by the same group was the straw that broke the camels back. There have been numerous times that Schumann has been approached about bullying and nothing was done. Parents are afraid to go to the school board because of the fear of ridicule in the community. Milledgeville is a small town and like most small towns gossip and backbiting is rampant. I have listened to it and seen it with my own two eyes. If I were a parent and had a problem with my child being bullied at school, would I want to go lay it all out to the school board? I think not. It would all over town in 1 day. You should be able to go to the principal, superintendent, or other power and voice your problem without the whole town knowing. When this has been done in the past, nothing was done. Mr. Schumann usually swept it under the rug or even went so far as to blame the bullied child. That is a fact and not here say. It happened to my family member. I am sick of it and I don’t even live there. I feel sorry for my family member. I don’t know what to do. The parents have tried but to no avail to get it stopped. These boys should be expelled and their parents forced to pay for them to go to unit 5 or some other school. I also don’t know what is going on in those homes, but I do know what would be going on in mine if I raised a bully! Trust me. He would no longer have his 4 wheel drive truck and would be accountable for every minute of every day. It probably won’t happen here though. They will get a slap on the wrist and made to apologize to the boy and his family and maybe miss prom. If this had been turned over to the state police like it should have been in the first place, these young men would have been held accountable, but who cares? He was just another special needs kid. A lesser human being. Not worthy of our support. Of course I am being sarcastic, but that is the message milledgeville will be sending to the world if these kids are not expelled.

      • Waitingonkarma

        I agree completely with your comments. My child was also bullied daily at Milledgeville High School and Mr. Schurman did nothing.

  • L

    As a parent of a child currently enrolled in the school, I have a few comments.
    1. These boys have been bullying large numbers of students for years, and the administration has not responded effectively. This includes Mr. Shurman, who has ultimate responsibility but also oversaw the junior high building when they began their reign of terror. The boys harass girls and special ed students in particular and there are many, many, many victims. The harassment occurs both in school and out of school. We had to pay our phone service to block the phone number of one of the boys because he called our house so many times to harass.
    2. The parents of these boys are generally nice people. They’ve made mistakes in excusing their son’s behavior, over and over again. However, they aren’t all wealthy, and they aren’t monsters. They do need to be more firm and stop making excuses. I’m sure they are not writing checks to anyone other than attorneys to try and keep their children from suffering consequences for their actions.
    3. Our own experience has been that the administrators expose the victims to more ridicule and make the victim feel as though they are to blame. The punishment the boys received is never enough to stop the behavior.
    4. The boys are not all athletes. Some are, but it is a small town and students are often involved in several extracurricular activities. This is coincidence.
    5. The community needs to hold firm that the students need to be held accountable. These students should not return to the school this year. There is too much chance that they will bully the witnesses in order to pressure them to deny what they saw. It is disruptive to the education of the rest of the students to allow them to return. I hope the school board will be responsible in this detail.

  • Mike

    The kids should be kicked out for a year. No sports at all for those kids. The school never has punished those who played sports when I was on school. Those kids need to be taught a lesson big time.

    • Wait for it

      Heads are going to roll. Someone or multiple people will be fired or voted out. These kids screwed up royally. No moral compass whatsoever. They will mostly likely be expelled by the school. Tried as an adult/ minor and serve time in some capacity along with extended probation and hopefully a biblical flood of counseling. Just wait.

  • K

    I don’t think anyone who knows the school can say that it doesn’t have a bullying problem that needs to be addressed–NOW. But this is definitely more than “bullying or harassment” as Mr. Shurmann seems to think. This is a criminal act, a felony, that I pray will get the justice that’s deserved. My heart aches for the victim of this crime and I am sick to think of my child in that sort of environment, where such things are looked at as just “bullying” or “harassment”–neither of which are okay either.

  • Nobodyspecial

    Am I the only one that listened when they said there was a complaint about a rumored video and police are investigating? We don’t know that the boys did anything. Unfortunately, another downfall to small towns is the inevitable rumor mill. Whatever happened to innocent till proven guilty? None of us know what goes on inside their homes. Yet we’re all quick to judge and assume. If there was a video, which the state police are said to be investigating, then we can all serve as judge and executioner. What will you all do if they are found (by police, not the school) innocent? I bet none of you will step up to apologize? Of course not. It’s easier to assume the news is bible. And I don’t need any replies about my not understanding. I’m from Milledgeville. I, too, know what goes on inside the school first hand. I didn’t see any if you hating the sports program when the girls brought home the school’s first stare title. You were all right there cheering when those boys broke a losing streak and rang the bell on the football field. Let the police do their job. If there was a crime, they’ll find it. If so, I hope the kids are held accountable. If not, I hope you are all willing to let everyone involved get their lives back. This includes the special needs boy and the accused.

  • Melbourne

    I am not at all surprised by the lack of discipline or spine that Mr. S or even the coaches have. I dug a little deeper and found out that the person that was bullied, was a special needs person. What does that even tell people or the students when your coaches and principals crumble to the athletes or those with the right name to not protect an innocent person. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. I am so glad that I no longer live in those wonderful small communities that want everyone to believe what good people they are. Why doesn’t the school board step in, but hey, the school board is generally stacked and clueless as well.

  • Nobodyspecial

    If you all think the school board is stacked…why aren’t any of you on it? Again…innocent till proven guilty. This is an alleged video and they have questioned several students. Some of whom happen to be athletes. The whole last name card is overplayed. Please. It’s a town of 1100 people. Practically everyone is related! These kids grow up together and are in everything together. Of course there is a bond and a close knit group. What if this was your child with their name attached to the allegations? Wouldn’t you want a thorough investigation? Stop assuming you were all present when something happened. There are three sides to every story and we only know one.

  • Amazed

    what really amazes me is that there is a lot of talk about what the school should do or this or that. schools can only do so much. if schools push to hard now days everybody’s mommy or daddy races to the school to say leave my child alone. it ALL starts with the parents and the parents not facing the fact that their child is a problem child. so instead of the parents taking the blame on the way their kids behave they blame it on everything else including other people. kids have no respect for school employees. i was taught that my teacher or whomever was to be respected the same as my parents were. besides the guilty parties should not be worried about what the school does. depending on the nature of the picture this could be a class X felony!!! mommy and daddy won’t save you this time

  • Rick

    I hope it’s not true, but I was just told that the mom is not going to press charges against the boys. She said a 5 day suspension and no prom was punishment enough. Again, I hope it’s not true.

    • not true

      I know this mom and this is absolutely NOT true. She has turned everything over to the police and is trying to patiently wait for them to complete their investigation.

  • Nobodyspecial

    My God…so much for right to a fair trial. I guess you all have insider information proving there’s even a video?

    • Bullying no more

      Video or not, there is enough proof of consistent bullying. Read the school no bullying prevention policy these boys have done enough without the pictures and video to get expelled. It is just sad that it had to come to this before action was taken. In my opinion Mr. Kelly, Mrs Rademacher, and Mrs Bontz need to be fired. They all knew there was an issue and did nothing. Maybe if they would of taken action when it was first reported (earlier this school year) that these boys were bullying kids it might not had escalated to this point. The school board has their work cut out for them.

  • concerned parent

    They obviously found some kind of proof that they are guilty or they wouldn’t have the 5 day suspension & no prom.

  • Rick

    @not true Thank you. I am so glad to hear that it’s not over! The person that told me that is from milledgeville and told me it was true. I have complained about Mville gossip and here I fell into it! Anyway, I don’t know the mom but tell her to stick to her guns, and if it all happened as was reported in the news, there are many of us supporting her and her son. Thanks again.

  • Nobodyspecial

    I was told by a student the suspension had nothing to do with punishment fof any illegal activity. Again..,no one knows exactly what has happened, been investigated, said, etc. yet we all assume the news report is the final word. Allow the law to do their job and investigate. And let the school act accordingly. I am not trying to pick sides…but I am sure there is so much to this story we don’t know yet. Don’t say something about these boys or their families that you can’t take back if necessary until we have answers .

  • Candace Herrick

    This isn’t a new thing here guys. Sherman been letting the bullies run free ever since he was principal of MHS. The only way it will stop is if he goes.. The more interesting question to asked here is why the previous district wanted him gone so badly? I think the school board should do some heavy reviewing of his record and he should have a suspension on the grounds for being a horrible administrator. I definably would not trust him with my child’s future no mater what grade she was in.

  • CE

    This group of students has a history of being allowed to haze, bully and dominate other students since late elementary school up to and including where they are today. They had in the past bullied my children both at and after school and no actions ever were taken by the parents, school or police when reported. Unfortunately we had to approach the parents and have very unpleasant discussions directly to not end but temper their actions. In a district this small names do matter, excelling in sports does matter as for many of these families have nothing else to be proud of. The sports scholarship may be the only way to continue their education and these kids are taught from a young age the importance of this by both the parents and schools. They are held to expectations of high performance and then given great allowances for their behavior. We have a good school system here, no better or worse than any other but again they are handcuffed by the school board, who is hesitant to punish their friends, relatives or neighbors kids. By a police department under the same constraint and also not technical enough to deal with the snap chat part of this issue, Google snap chat picture retrieval and see the number of replies. No matter what the outcome some will be unhappy and with the history of this area it will be the same groups on each side. After all many of these families are only carrying on a long standing tradition of empowering the few at the expense of the rest, some of these dads were the bullies of past years and some are the coaches of many of the youth teams now.
    This should be turned over to the State Police and State Board of Education to investigate. Allow them the time to look at everything and one involved and make a decision or recommendation on the response if any to this. I know these kids and families, both sides and have no doubt that this happened and more that we don’t know about. But I was not there! I do not know beyond a doubt the guilt or innocence of this group, allow the process to sort this out and yes I am involved with the schools, the sports teams, the communities, another reason we need to remove them from the process and allow impartial investigations to take place. I would have a hard time not voting guilty based on prior history no matter how hard I tried I could never be sure my decision was not swayed.
    Whatever happens we need to maintain the upstanding of our youth, communities and schools and reach both a fair and just response.

  • Nobodyspecial

    You would have a hard time voting not guilty based on knowing them? What about facts? The state police have this under investigation, according to the news. If they find innocence, you’re just going to judge then guilty anyway? You are all hearing what you want. This is an ongoing investigation and no innocence OR GUILT has been found.

  • Harry

    Nobodyspecial….why were the expelled from school for 5 days if there is no guilt? I guess I don’t understand!

  • Nobodyspecial

    A suspension in a complaint like this would be typical to allow time to investigate. Do any of you know first hand why they were suspended? I’m guessing you don’t. Nor do any of us. It’s just easier to assume they’re guilty and that we have a the facts. I mean, if someone said it, it must be true. The news even said they are investigating to determine if it’s a law or school discipline that will be taken. Seriously, am I the only one that actually read the ONLY facts we actually have? There is a due process that must be completed and it takes more than a few days. These boys could not have been punished for this crime yet. There is no way the investigation has had time for completion.

    • Harry

      Nobodyspecial…I don’t think anybody said the investigation was complete did they? We will see who is right and who is wrong…who is guilty and who is not, when it is all said and done.

  • Nobodyspecial

    That’s my point! People are automatically accusing them of being guilty when they’ve just started investigating. The news said they’ve been questioned. I mean, read some if these posts. Imagine if that was your child. Whether they did it or not…some of these posts have been incredibly cruel. I don’t know if these boys are guilty, but none of us do. But the whole town has written them off as worthless bullies who don’t deserve their right to due process. Every report has said they’re investigating and there was complaint of a video. For the sake of all involved, I’m trying to keep an open mind and remember the public does not know all the facts.

  • wait for it

    Nobody, tell that to every parent who has a child that’s already been a victim of these kids. This is a long time coming. Your investigation is a formality at this point. Karma has come back around. Stop kidding yourself. Everyone has the right to their opinion on here, including you and I don’t blame any of them for venting.

  • Nobodyspecial

    So every one of these exact kids has spent their entire educational career bullying and wreaking havoc? Whether they did or didn’t? This is about a very serious crime and past events have no bearing here. A state police investigation is a formality? I would hope we have a better judicial system that to investigate to look good and crucify regardless of facts.

  • wait for it

    You are arguing about innocent until proven guilty. That’s the law. We get it. That process is carrying out now. Everyone’s waiting for that to play out and expressing their opinion about what the final outcome will be. You can’t censor people’s feelings about this.

  • Nobodyspecial

    You’re right, everyone is entitled to express their opinion. But go back and look through the comments. So many are already accusing them. Many because they’ve had a bad with experience with some of them, not because they have facts. If they investigate and find proven facts to convict, then let them be punished to the fullest extent possible. But most of these people have found them guilty before the investigation process has had time to really begin. They want their right to free speech, but what about right to a fair trial? I would hope they would expect that if it was their child. That’s all I’m saying. This will have long last impact no matter what happens. If they’re charged, the community has to live with what happened. If they’re found innocent, those boys are going to know the awful things said about them and you can’t take that back any more than you can hide what you put on the internet. Some comments say the parents will write a check and it will be over? This is in the hands of the police. Money can’t buy you out of official evidence.

  • in shock

    Now I am at the point of thinking the same way I did in the beginning. I don’t know for a fact one was expelled. No one does. The victim is the one people should worry about. I don’t know what happened and none of us do. There are families that are involved that are hurting because their kids are caught up in this. Let the investigation finish and then we will know. I continue to pray for the victim. And I also pray for the accused and their families. People condemn the school system, they condemn the accused, and they condemn the families. I am not sure anyone should condemn anyone until the facts come out. I know there is a victim as I said before and that is who we should all focus on for right now.

  • Rick

    IF anyone has been suspended it would actually make sense. It only stands to reason that anyone even accused of such a horrendous crime including sexual deviations and bullying shouldn’t be allowed to return to the school until the investigation has concluded for fear of retaliation against those complying with the investigation. I am not saying they are guilty. I don’t know and neither do any of you. Most of you, like myself are going by what has happened in the past with some of these young men. It is human nature to want revenge. Whatever happens, these guys are labeled. They are bullies. Not all of them mind you, but some of them. They have bullied my family member, but are they guilty of this sick atrocity? I don’t know. All we can actually do is wait. Wait and see what happens once the smoke clears. If they are innocent, the community needs to back off. If they are guilty, we need to hope that swift and severe punishment is dealt. Either way, there is a lot of healing in a town of 1100 people that is going to have to happen.

  • Nobodyspecial

    I think that’s very well said Rick. I’m sorry that any bullying has happened in a place I hold so close to my heart and continue to support. If it happens as much as everyone is claiming, then administrators need to be held responsible too. You can’t claim to have a strict policy and then allow it to happen that long. Are these boys all a close group of friends that wreak havoc? Is it a couple? I’ve heard both. If it’s only a couple, then it’s unfair to continuously say “these boys ” with every claim. I realize bullying is a hot topic, and I don’t condone it, but I do feel sometimes people are quick to use the bully card. I’m not saying that’s happening here…just in general. In my day, people didn’t always get along with everyone in school, but no one was accused of bullying as much. And I feel like there was much less drama and studebts seemed to actually be more behaved in school. I realize times have changed, just my two cents. I hear SO many people saying athletes get special treatment. Small towns are notorious for the pride they have in their athletics. It’s called school pride. It’s part of what makes high school memorable. No, they shouldn’t get an excuse because they’re an athlete, but it’s not a bad thing for the school to value their athletic program either. A program that, in my day, was very successful.

  • Nobodyspecial

    I do wonder, however, if it’s just some of them that are bullies and all are found innocent? Will those that are not deviant bullies be welcomed back when they return to school?

  • Rick

    Children learn many things growing into adulthood. Some intentionally, some not. They watch and learn from their peers and from parents, friends, family, etc. when kids see someone make fun of, or embarrass someone and nothing is done to that person, it makes an impression. When they see someone give a kid, shall we say someone with maybe Down’s syndrome or something comparable, a helping hand, that makes an impression also. Unfortunately there aren’t as many positive impressions in this selfish world as negative ones and it sets a pattern. We all want attention at sometime in our life and a way to get attention and maybe cover up some of our own insecurities is by bullying, harassing, others. We get the adulation of a few and feel like we are on top. What these kids need to learn is that there is a high that never can be matched by being kind, helpful, humans. It is what sets us apart from animals. No, I am not calling these young men animals, but they are a product of their environment. In our society, kindness and thoughtfulness is many times considered a weakness. That is wrong and if these accusations are true, the parents, and the entire school system is as much to blame as the boys. You made them that way. No punishment to speak of for much smaller issues in the past. It has now escalated into this. A special needs boy and his momma are at home feeling anger, frustration, and I am sure humiliation. If these accusations are found to be untrue, we as a society, need to show compassion for them and their families and teach them that compassion, and forgiveness, is not a weakness but is much more powerful than all of the negative stuff. After all, we are all on this world together and life is too short. My 2 cents.

  • Joey Helfrich

    I am absolutley disgusted. They fired the PE teacher for not watching the class. 2 students were expelled. 1 student was suspended for 5 xtra days. The other student who is 18 is allowed to go bak to school.to graduate and then will go to jail for already being on probation for burglary. Now how in the hell do we allow sexual predators to return to this school? The student involved is mentally handicapped and is not mentally a 17yr old. I for one will be at that school. I run a football program that does extwnsive back ground checks to kepp people like this away from thw kids that i coach which are ages 6-10. I will expect answrs and will also be considering removing my kids if they allow sexual predators to roam these school.hallways. this is appalling that our school board will not protwct these kids like they should be. We entrust these people with our kids for 8hrs a day and they r failing us.

  • Nobodyspecial

    The investigation is undergoing. They are not sexual predators until proof is found. What we have right now is a complaint files that the police are investigating. Sauk Valley News reported that the closed board is meeting tonight. You are right, it’s disgusting. However, it’s also disgusting that we have exiled these boys and labeled them guilty before the police have. All our system to work. If this did happen, that young man bullied is scarred for life. Those boys are labeled guilty or innocent because there will be no line of people waiting to apologize for the things they’ve said if the investigation shows innocence. We tell our kids to choose our words carefully. Should we not lead by example?

  • Nobodyspecial

    that should read those boys WILL be scarred whether proven guilty or innocent . Allow our legal system to do the investigating and conviction.

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