URBANA, Ill. (WAND) – A principal at an Urbana school is on leave Tuesday as an issue is investigated by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
That person is Delores Lloyd, who began work at Thomas Paine Elementary in 2017. While what exactly happened is unclear, The News-Gazette reports a district email from Urbana Superintendent Jennifer Ivory-Tatum to parents of students said a report went to DCFS about a “student safety” issue. An investigation began Monday afternoon.
“It is the policy of the Board that while DCFS investigates the concern, those involved are placed on leave until the conclusion of the investigation," Ivory-Tatum said. "The district has been fully cooperating with DCFS. Until DCFS can conclude its investigation, another administrator will be assigned to supervise everyday activities in the building."
An alleged victim is expected to meet with a forensic interviewer, prosecutors said, while investigators do their work.
In 2007, Thomas Paine dealt with a different scandal, in which 39-year-old then-teacher Jon White abused young girls. He was sentenced to 60 years behind bars in 2008 for eight aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges. White was accused of similar crimes involving students at a Normal school where he worked before the Urbana school district hired him.
Part of White's 60-year sentence stemmed from aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges in McLean County, which he pleaded guilty to.
One of White’s lawyers represents the alleged victim at Thomas Paine and called the situation “particularly disheartening” because it “seems to be a repeat of what’s already happened at this school”.
Urbana police and Urbana School District 116 released a joint statement Tuesday:
"On Sept. 10, 2019, the Urbana Police Department was made aware of an allegation related to a staff member of Thomas Paine Elementary School. The police department is working with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and Urbana School District #116 to investigate this allegation. As this investigation is being undertaken, the police department will not be able to provide comment as to the specifics of the allegation. We can confirm that the staff member in question no longer has access to children or any school facilities."
Thomas Paine Elementary, a K-5 school, can be found at 1801 James Cherry Drive in Urbana.