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Popular Evanston Township High School Theatre Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse

Two former students of Evanston Township High School [ETHS] have alleged in a lawsuit filed today that a popular former theater teacher at the high school engaged in sexual abuse of students at the school before he retired in the 1990’s. The suit was filed by the “John Doe” plaintiffs in the Cook County Circuit Court against Evanston Township High School, the District 202 Board of Education and former teacher Bruce Siewerth.

The former students allege that Siewerth sexually abused them while they were students in Siewerth’s theater department. The suit describes Siewerth as an emotionally controlling and manipulating man that used his role as theater director to engage in sexual conduct with his male students. The suit also alleges that despite Siewerth’s misdeeds being an “open secret” at the school, no administrator put a stop to Siewerth’s actions prior to his retirement.

Chicago, IL Teacher Sex Abuse Lawyer

Last week Evanston Township High School District 202 superintendent, Eric Witherspoon, issued a statement acknowledging that sexual abuse allegations had been made against a former teacher at the school, stating that "[o]n behalf of Evanston Township High School District 202, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the expressed pain that has surfaced among our alumni in light of recent allegations that a former teacher who retired from the district in the 1990s engaged in inappropriate sexual touching, groping, and harassment of former students while employed at the district."

Supt. Witherspoon admitted that the abuse allegations against the former theater teacher “impact ETHS (Evanston Township High School) graduates, their classmates, loved ones, current students, parents and staff in different ways.” The former ETHS theater teacher was employed at ETHS from the mid-1960s to the late 1990s.

Trial attorney and Evanston resident Michael T. Mertz, who is handling the two suits filed today with fellow attorney Evan Smola, commented on the abuse allegations stating that:

“This should never have happened. Parents entrust schools like ETHS to protect students from the predatory actions of teachers who use their positions to groom, control and sexually abuse vulnerable students. ETHS failed in its duty to protect students from this man.”

Questions regarding the two cases case can be directed to Michael T. Mertz at (312) 305-4900 (MMertz@hurley-law.com).


Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. represents the victims of childhood sexual abuse against institutions that failed to protect them from the abuse. If you or someone you know has been sexually or physically abused at Evanston Township High School, you should contact Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. at 312-553-4900 to learn your legal rights.

For a free consultation, contact Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. today at 312-553-4900 or fill out our online form to have a lawyer contact you.

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