The family of an Evanston Township High School student who claims she was sexually assaulted by two security guards have filed a lawsuit against the school.
According to the lawsuit, the security guards made inappropriate cell phone calls and text messages, sent pornographic photos and encouraged students to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. The suit also alleges that one of the guards had sex with one female student more than 40 times in various locations.
The lawsuit accuses the school district of not doing enough to stop the abuse.
In February, one of the guards, Michael B. Haywood was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a student from the high school. He allegedly groomed the plaintiff in the lawsuit in 2018 and 2019 when she was 17.
The lawsuit alleges Haywood began sexually targeting the plaintiff and at least two other students soon after being hired by the school in 2018. The suit says the school didn’t fully inform the parents of the allegations against him after terminating him in January.
Andrew Stroth, the lead attorney for the plaintiff, said it looked to be an open secret among some of the staff members that Haywood had an inappropriate relationship with the girl for months, but still kept quiet.
Stroth said that there are indications the the security guards targeted other girls at the school.
“There are three that we know of for sure,” he said. “But our belief is there are even more.”
The lawsuit seeks damages for, “Willful, reckless, and negligent conduct in refusing to address systemic failures and documented patterns and practices of sexual abuse of minor female students.”