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West Carroll H.S. Teacher Accused Of Having Relationship With Student, Community Reacts

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Police have arrested 24 year old Chelsey Wheeler on charges of criminal sexual assault. She was a science teacher at West Carroll High School in Savanna, Illinois, but resigned last week.

Police said the victim is a 17-year old boy who went to the school.

Police say their investigation started after school officials alerted them about a teacher who allegedly had a relationship with one of her students. 

Wheeler was a teacher at West Carroll High School for two years. She turned herself in after a warrant was issued for her arrest Monday. 

Now, Savanna residents tell us how they felt when they heard the news about this small town community teacher.

"If found guilty of that she will lose her teaching license, yes of course," said Savanna resident Bill McCormick. "So, it's a shame that would happen. But if it's true, it's true. Nobody knows at this point."

Bill is a former principal of West Carroll High School, when it was Savanna High School back in the 70's. He said he was surprised to hear what happened. Other parents and grandparents said they were too. 

"I'm kind of disgusted. I think the children are impressionable," said grandparent Karen Matthews. "Especially in high school, they think they're in love with everybody. I know I was."

"I just think it's awful. My kids are all grown but I think it's awful," said Savanna resident Wendy Barbee. "These kids go through too much as it is. I think it's just terrible."

But, another parent says it wasn't that big of deal.   

"Everybody makes a lot more of out it than it is around here," said parent Tim Schlosser. "But, there wasn't that big of an age difference and they both knew what they were doing."

A mother of two young sons, Samantha Yenney, graduated from West Carroll High School a few years ago. She said things like this worry her for when her sons are old enough to go to school.

"Honestly I wasn't surprised," said Yenney. "I kind of figured with it being a small town that it was eventually bound to happen."

Police said they're still investigating this case, as their may be more victims.

KWQC TV-6 talked to police and the school district, who did not want to go on camera. 

The district said they are reinforcing appropriate behavior for their staff toward students. A substitute teacher with a certification in science has taken over the vacant position for now. 

Chelsey Wheeler's hearing will be later this month. 

 

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