Evanston Township High School is staying mum on on Monday. Yet as news of the arrest of a 14-year-old student spread across the Internet, many alum and Evanston residents wondered how such a thing could happen.
The ’s press office did not return repeated calls from Evanston Patch Tuesday evening and Wednesday with requests for more information about the incident and how security is handled at the school in general. The school posted Tuesday's police press release on its website.
said a school security officer found a 14-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl engaged in a sex act on Monday during school hours. Evanston police said they determined that the boy forced the girl to perform the act against her will, and charged him with criminal sexual assault.
Cmdr. Jason Parrott said he did not know what stairway the incident occurred in nor whether the boy and girl are in the same grade.
He explained that due to the age of the students and the nature of the crime, his department has no more information to release at this time.
“When it involves underage people as young as the victim and the offender, we release minimal information” he said. “We want to have the least impact on the victim and the victim’s family.”
While information about the crime was scarce, the basic outline of the incident shocked many online commenters.
On Twitter, Yvonne wrote: “That really is terrible. I mean ETHS had/has its issues of course, but its really too bad this incident happened”
Charliese wrote, “#Evanston, please get your [expletive] together. Sexual assault at the high school? Ew. Sit in class and read a damn book.”
And Alex Harris responded, “man I'm telling you ETHS is getting reckless & has been since we left.”
Many people online questioned ETHS’ security, including Patch reader Debirag, who wrote: “Since it appears ETHS is rife with criminal activities occurring in its hallways at all times, why aren't the many guards doing their jobs at all times. Most of the time, the guards are talking to each other casually, looking at their phones, or standing as if in a stupor. I know because I subbed there and witnessed this. this is what we're paying taxes for...and more of the same lax cronyism behavior at the school.”
On an article about the incident on Evanston Now, commenter Sam defended the school’s security team. “It's an enormous building with 3000 students and a few dozen security guards. There's literally no way that even a majority of the students can be monitored at all times. I think the main purpose of security is to prevent a fight from snowballing into a riot.”