Charles Hicks Subject of Sexual Misconduct Investigation
By: Mary Patricia
Charles Hicks, an employee of the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) for more than 24 years had been placed on administrative leave, this due to an impending investigation into his actions within the school. Hicks Jr., a special education teacher at the Illinois School for the Deaf, made around $86,000 last year while employed with the state, according to online state employee salary records.
State government documents obtained by the S-JR through a FOIA request say Hicks was placed on paid administrative leave on March 2nd, 2018, in connection with an investigation that began Feb. 28th. In a March 2018 letter to Hicks, ISD Superintendent Julee Nist ordered Hicks not to be in any location within the Illinois School for the Deaf where students are present. Nist added that Hicks should not have “contact with any students.”
His administrative leave was extended on March 11th, 2019 and is apparently scheduled to return on May 10th, according to state documents.
In a March 2018 letter to Hicks, School for the Deaf superintendent Julee Nist ordered him “not to be in any location within the Illinois School for the Deaf where students are present.” Nist said Hicks should not have “contact with any students.”
Meghan Powers, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services — which oversees the school — told the SJ-R in an email, “the individual in question will remain on leave for the duration of the investigation. ... Administrative leave needs to be approved for specific periods of time, but we can keep extending it.” (State Journal Register)
According to the State Journal Register (SJR) Parents were informed on March 22 of the investigation, this was the first time that they had been notified of the situation at hand. The Deaf Report shared on March 15, 2019 that there were several former students that suspected Charles Hicks had been under investigation. They had recalled his conduct during their time at ISD.
(It was) mentioned that the alumni suspected a certain staff member because of his “down-to-earth” behaviors with students. They continued to explain that he had been often inappropriate with these students in terms of improper language (while at the school). They added that they never witnessed this particular staff member behave inappropriately in his interactions with students or those situations they recalled having any kind of a sexual tone. They are hoping that he is not the alleged person that is under investigation by the state police. (The Deaf Report)
Hicks’ mother, Charlene Hicks, is a member of the school’s advisory council. She didn’t respond when contacted by a Journal-Register representative requesting a comment into the matter.
The Deaf Report will continue to update as the story unfolds.