Danville school board fires teacher accused of having sex with student

Danville school board fires teacher accused of having sex with student

DANVILLE — A Danville High School special-education teacher who'd been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student has been fired.

The school board on Wednesday voted unanimously to terminate the tenured teacher, whom board President Bill Dobbles identified as Chelsea L. Robinson after the recommendation was approved.

Robinson, 28, of Danville, has been indicted on three counts of criminal sexual assault by a person in a position of trust, a Class 1 felony.

Prosecutors said she allegedly had a sexual relationship with a male student in June when she was employed as a special-education teacher at the high school.

This past spring, Robinson — who started with the district in 2013 and taught a life-skills class — had been reassigned, and she was scheduled to take over a special-education classroom at North Ridge Middle School this school year.

Robinson, through her attorney Leon Parker, pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing last Friday. Her jury trial is set for Nov. 13.

If convicted, she faces between four and 15 years in prison. She is currently free on $100,000 bond.

Robinson's arrest came two months after David Woodrow, a longtime North Ridge volunteer, was charged with six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Class 2 felonies, for allegedly sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy on several occasions in 2011 and 2013.

In the time since the allegations against Woodrow came to light, the district has taken precautionary measures, Superintendent Alicia Geddis announced Wednesday.

Among them, she said, special-education Director Molly Stanis and the district's social workers have developed a more comprehensive program for support services, officials met with high school freshmen and North Ridge students in small groups to discuss services there to help them, and staff met with the Vermilion County Rape Crisis Center director to strengthen the agency's collaborative efforts with the district.