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Two former Evanston Township High School students filed suit today claiming a former drama teacher at the school sexually abused them decades ago.

The suit names the school and its board as defendants along with the teacher, Bruce Siewerth.

In a news release, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Michael T. Mertz, claims that Siewerth was “an emotionally controlling and manipulating man” who used his role as theater director at the school “to engage in sexual conduct with his male students.”

The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, also claims that though Siewerth’s behavior was an “open secret” at the school, no administrator put a stop to it.

Mertz said, “Parents entrust schools like ETHS to protect students from the predatory actions of teachers who use their positions to groom, control and sexually abuse vunerable students. ETHS failed in its duty to protect students from this man.”

Siewerth reportedly worked at ETHS from the mid-1960s to the late 1990s. After the charges first emerged on Facebook earlier this month, Siewerth, in a telephone interview with the Chicago Tribune, denied that he’d done anything wrong.

Related story

ETHS bars former teacher over sex abuse complaints (10/13/17)

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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1 Comment

  1. Hmmm.

    Hmmm. Wasn’t he a department chair? Open secret, promotion to department chair, respected retiree for many years. Makes you wonder about the Board and Administration of ETHS.

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