Oswego East High School teacher resigns after investigation into alleged grooming behavior

Oswego School District 308 is investigating acts of vandalism that occurred at Oswego East High School Wednesday night, including racial slurs written on the school grounds.

An Oswego East High School teacher has resigned following an investigation by the district that he engaged in grooming behavior with a student.

Oswego School Superintendent Andalib Khelghati talked about the incident during Monday’s SD308 board meeting. Justin Query, who had taught English at Oswego East High School, resigned effective Sept. 14.

He had been employed by SD308 since 2005. Query voluntarily rescinded his professional educator license to the state of Illinois, said Theresa Komitas, the district’s executive director of communications and public relations.

Query could not be reached for comment.

School officials received the report from the victim in early fall 2022, at which time Query was immediately placed on a leave of absence pending the investigation, Komitas said in an email. The Aurora Police Department along with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Illinois State Board of Education were all involved in the investigation, she said.

“No other victims within our district made reports regarding this teacher,” Komitas said.

Khelghati voiced support for the victim reporting the allegations.

“We recognize the immense courage it takes to come forward in such difficult circumstances,” he said. “In response to this breach of trust, the teacher involved will not only be permanently barred from teaching within our district, but will also face comprehensive restrictions that prevent them from teaching anywhere else within the state or country.”

He said the district remains committed to the safety of students.

“The safety and well-being of our students are non negotiable priorities for SD308,” Khelghati said. “We will continue to take all necessary measures to create an environment where every student and staff can learn and thrive without fear.”

Oswego School Board President LaTonya Simelton echoed those remarks.

“We do not tolerate the harming of our students,” she said.