H-F Students Walkout over their School Response to Alleged Assault


By Zoe Miller and Chelsea Small, Spartan Staff

At Homewood-Flossmoor High School, a female student recently alleged that a male student assaulted her during a class at the school. This allegation led to a public press conference held by the alleged victim’s mother and lawyers that was covered by local TV media – Channels 2, 5, 7 and 9.

While School District 233, which includes Homewood-Flossmoor H.S., responded to this allegation with a series of public statements, it did not deter H-F students from staging a walkout last week in protest of the matter. 

This, in fact, was the second student walkout over allegations of sexual assault at the high school this calendar year. 

Students held their signs high during a recent walkout at Homewood-Flossmoor organized on social media.


The Allegation and District Response

An unnamed female student at Homewood-Flossmoor reported that amid working in small breakout groups to rehearse lines for a theater class, she was violated.

In response to the allegation, District 233 responded that they followed all relevant school and legal protocols regarding the situation after receiving the female student’s report.

In a statement released to H-F parents and students, District 233 Superintendent Dr. Scott Wakeley and Principal Dr. Clinton Alexander gave the “Viking Family” a recap of what happened October 31. You can read the district’s full response by clicking the link here.

District 233 administration stated that their commitment to students, staff, and families to “lead with compassion and transparency and always keep the best interests of students at the center of our work.” They also explain that with that promise they have communicated as much information as they could while still upholding legal responsibilities and the confidentiality of the minors involved. 

According to published news reports, the alleged victim’s mother said that there was no “adequate” supervision being given when the alleged incident took place. 

The alleged victim’s mother added that Homewood-Flossmoor waited more than an hour to notify the family of the incident, and that it was even longer before she could see her daughter and take her to the hospital. 

Speaking to WGN9-TV, the mother said, “They wouldn’t release her right away. They need to change all of that. We had to demand to see her face.” 

The high schooler’s mom continued, “If you can imagine being called and told by the principal of the school that your child has gotten raped and used the word ‘raped,’ and that’s all they tell you, but you can’t see their face, it’s a problem.”

On the second page of a message to the H-F community that was sent to The Spartan Star by District 233’s Office of Communications, school officials present a timeline of their response and subsequent notifications that challenged the mother’s claim. District officials stated that “the alleged incident was not immediately reported to school personnel, but the response of our personnel, once aware, was immediate and appropriate.”

Students at Homewood-Flossmoor hold signs during a recent school walkout.

The Perception and Student Walkout

While the facts remain unclear, what is apparent is that some H-F students are speaking up about their concerns about the environment of the school and feel that they have been left in a state of confusion – or worse – a state of neglect. 

This perceived lack of support created a space in which the alleged victim’s mother expressed her concerns on Facebook which led to the organization of a student walkout. Students were invited to participate to show their frustration, it was written, with administrators who “neglect” serious allegations made by females in an institution of higher learning.

This was not the first alleged sexual assault at Homewood-Flossmoor in 2022. 

Earlier in March, H-F students staged a similar walkout in solidarity with that alleged victim.  

Homewood-Flossmoor students walk out of school to protest actions (or the lack of action) by their school.

Homewood-Flossmoor Senior Emily Olmstead talked to The Spartan Star about the events that led to the March walkout. 

“During March, there were some girls who came out against a boy. The girls leaked his name as well,” Olmstead said. “The school didn’t really speak out a whole lot about it. A couple of vague emails went out, but the main thing [the school] focused on was trying to keep the boy’s identity anonymous.”

Olmstead said this feeling was a catalyst for the conflict that resulted, the feeling that H-F took sides in the matter, protecting the perpetrator rather than supporting the victim. That’s the reason, the senior said, was why a walkout was planned. 

It should be noted that Homewood-Flossmoor was not under the guidance of the school’s current administrators – Wakeley and Alexander – at the time of the March incident. 

“Hundreds of kids [marched].” Olmstead said. “They had posters about keeping girls safe and listening to victims.”

In regard to the most recent events, not every H-F student felt the need to leave class to protest actions.

H-F Senior Bryce Nobles said students’ reactions have been “pretty mixed” with some feeling Homewood-Flossmoor has done all they could as a school. Additionally, Nobles said, mini walkouts have arisen, awakening criticism of the authenticity of recent protests. 

“A lot of people use situations like these as an excuse to skip class,” Nobles said. “There’s definitely people who genuinely care though.”

Olmstead seemed to agree with that critique. 

“It’s horrible,” Olmstead said. “It creates a safety issue and is one of the main concerns of the administration and it leads to why we can’t have walkouts. It takes a good message and turns it into an excuse to leave school, basically undermining the entire movement.”

For the moment, the H-F administrators said they welcome creating platforms for discussion about this and other issues important to students and the school community.

Parents and other members of the Homewood community joined students in a recent protest at the high school.


The Forum and Student Safety

In a statement made public via the District 233 Website and sent to The Spartan Star, H-F officials said the following:  

“We are committed to an open dialogue. On Tuesday afternoon [November 1], we hosted an open forum after school for students where they shared their thoughts, concerns, and provided potential solutions for moving forward. A second opportunity for open dialogue with students and H-F administration is being planned for the near future. We also are working with the Homewood Flossmoor Parent Association (HFPA) to provide opportunities for engagement and conversations with our H-F parents, guardians, and extended family members.”

Students at Homewood-Flossmoor are calling for “Justice” after a recent assault allegation at the high school.

Recent H-F grad Savannah Abajian said that she was “extremely disappointed” by current events. Abajian said she is concerned about “what steps will be taken to make sure [student] safety is a priority” in the future.

“There needs to be a better system in place to protect students, as well as a better outlet for students to express their concerns and opinions in a safe and effective manner,” Abajian said.

Abajian said she believes the school is doing more than they have done in the past, which is a step in the right direction. 

“Situations like these are unfortunate, and there is only so much the school can do,” Abajian said. “I think that overall we have to take a look at our community, and how we can work together to raise these children to be their best selves in and outside of school. It definitely takes a village.”