Former Student-Athlete Files Lawsuit against Illinois High School, Alleging Bullying and Sexual Harassment by Hockey Teammates

NEW LENOX, Ill. – Providence Catholic High School is facing a lawsuit brought by a former student-athlete who alleges bullying and sexual harassment by members of the school’s hockey team. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the student, claims that the school failed to address the abusive behavior.

According to court documents, the plaintiff was subjected to sexually explicit comments about their body and endured physical harassment from teammates. Attorney Steven Glink, representing the student, described the bullying and harassment as “very pervasive,” occurring on a daily basis. The lawsuit also names coaches, counselors, and the school’s dean and president as defendants.

The complaint reveals that the student and their parents reported the incidents to the school, including making calls to the police. Tragically, in December 2022, the unidentified student attempted suicide as a result of the ongoing harassment. Glink emphasized that the responsibility for addressing the bullying lies with the school.

In response to the lawsuit, Father John Merkelis, the school’s dean and president, expressed sadness and released a statement promising action. He stated that if an investigation reveals harassment, Providence Catholic High School will take swift measures to stop it and discipline those responsible.

The plaintiff has since left Providence Catholic High School and now attends a public high school. The lawsuit is seeking $1 million in damages, plus additional fees.

This case highlights the serious issue of bullying and sexual harassment within school environments. The impact on the victim’s mental health and well-being cannot be underestimated. It is crucial for schools to have robust policies in place to prevent and address such behavior, ensuring a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students.

As the lawsuit proceeds, it will be important to examine the evidence presented and assess the actions taken by the school in response to the reported incidents. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for how schools handle bullying and harassment allegations, setting a precedent for accountability and the protection of students.

In summary, Providence Catholic High School is facing a lawsuit alleging bullying and sexual harassment by members of its hockey team. The school, along with coaches, counselors, and the dean and president, are named as defendants. The plaintiff, who has since left the school, is seeking $1 million in damages. This case underscores the urgent need for schools to address and prevent bullying and harassment, prioritizing the well-being of their students.