‘Sexting’ Lake Forest Principal Resigns

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) –- A Lake Forest middle school principal who “sexted” a college student resigned Sunday, but some parents demanded the departure of the district’s superintendent, too.

Deer Path Middle School Principal John Steinert in 2009 pleaded guilty to harassment by electronic media, after sending dozens of unwanted and sexually explicit texts, messages and photos of himself to a 22-year-old Lake Forest Police Department intern. The messages were sent on a school cell phone.

After an investigation by Superintendent Harry Griffith, Steinert stayed put as principal until the true nature of the messages came to light last week in The Chicago Tribune and other media outlets.

Reports last week said Steinert sent the woman a picture of his penis, and left voice mails and texts that suggested sex acts he wanted to perform with her and asked her about pornography and sex toys.

Steinert persisted even after the woman told him she was not interested and asked him to leave her alone, and she finally contacted police in Gurnee, where she lived, reports last week said.

Parents expressed anger Sunday night that Steinert was allowed to stay. The Lake Forest School District 67 board gathered for a hastily convened meeting and accepted the principal’s resignation.

“I’m embarrassed to call you my school board members,” parent Michael Beacham said.

“Either there’s been gross incompetence or there’s been a cover-up. In either case, it’s just unacceptable,” he told reporters.

Griffith said he won’t resign. He says initially he only saw a redacted version of the police report.

Previously, “we had information that this was about texting between two adults,” Griffith told reporters. “When we actually saw the real material was just three days ago, we realized it was more about sexting, and that was heinous behavior.”

School board members say they still have to discuss details surrounding the controversy. A meeting between parents and the school board was scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday.

  • tom Sharp

    This begs the question: who “redacted” the original report and why? All of the guilty, and there seems to be a lot of them here, will no doubt retire with 6-figure pensions courtesy of the taxpayers.

  • Lake Co Resident

    I am more than willing to bet that most Parents did not even know or would’ve put any stock that this Principal had a District Issued Phone until all these Details came about re: this Serious Matter. Given what that’s all been taken place it will be highly likely that many Parents in that District like many Parents other Towns who have gotten wind of all this situation close to Lk. Forest will demand the School District to open up their Books to see what other costs they are paying for that they feel will not be deemed as necessary if it impacts their Tax $.

  • Pathetic!

    Well, they just couldn’t leave well enough alone. These people actually took time out of their personal lives, on a Sunday evening, to see the this guy lost his livelyhood. Why? This is a three year old misdemeaner! This guy paid his $300 fine, served his community service, received a reprimand from the school board, and had his salary frozen. Yet that just wasn’t good enough for a number of self rightous prudes. Even know this had absolutely nothing to do with the kids, and the woman was an adult, they still had to see him lose his job. As far as I’m concerned, these people are pathetic! This is an old misdemeaner, he paid the penalty, the whole thing was finished. Mean People Suck Ass!!!!

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