High School District 155 Board ousts teacher accused of grooming teen for sex

The Crystal Lake Central High School teacher accused of grooming a teen girl online for sex was ousted by the High School District 155 Board on Thursday night.

The board voted unanimously during a special meeting to dismiss Matthew R. Fralick from his position and also will notify the Illinois State Board of Education about the matter so it can review whether to suspend or revoke his teaching license. Only the state board has the power to revoke or suspend a license, district officials said.

“Tonight, the District 155 Board of Education approved the administration’s recommendation to dismiss Crystal Lake Central teacher Matt Fralick from his teaching position for gross misconduct,” according to a statement read by board President Adam Guss after the vote. “As we work to bring this matter to a close, we remain resolute in our commitment to create a safe learning environment for all of our students. Please know that the safety and security of our students and staff is and will always be our top priority.”

Guss said the district will “continue to cooperate fully” with police and prosecutors regarding the pending criminal proceedings.

“However, in order to not compromise the criminal proceedings still pending, the district will not be making any further statements regarding this matter,” Guss said.

The board voted to oust Fralick after spending about an hour in closed executive session at the Center for Education, 1 S. Virginia Road in Crystal Lake. District administration made a recommendation to the board to dismiss Fralick for misconduct.

Fralick, 48, is under criminal investigation on claims that he groomed a teenage girl online for sex. He is accused of making sexual comments to a 15-year-old girl in an age-restricted chat room for teens in April. He was placed on paid administrative leave for about two weeks in August but returned to the classroom after the district’s human resources department couldn’t substantiate the allegations, district communications show. Fralick again was placed on leave in December, however, and hasn’t returned to teaching since.

District 155 attorney Chris Hoffmann said Fralick as a tenured teacher has 17 days after receiving notice of the board’s action to request a hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the state board. He said Fralick is on suspension without pay during the 17-day period.

“If he doesn’t appeal it all, then his dismissal is effective tonight,” Hoffmann said.

Fralick didn’t attend the meeting.

He was arrested Feb. 1 at the McHenry Police Department on a felony grooming charge. If Fralick is convicted on the charge, he will be required to repay the district for the compensation he received while on paid leave, according to district policy.

“If a professional employee is suspended with pay, either voluntarily or involuntarily, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation or prosecution, and the employee is later dismissed as a result of his or her criminal conviction, the employee must repay to the district all compensation and the value of all benefits received by him or her during the suspension,” according to district policy. “The superintendent will notify the employee of this requirement when the employee is suspended.”

Fralick worked from 2010 to 2014 as the head football coach at Crystal Lake Central. He also formerly acted as the assistant coach for the football, girls basketball and boys golf teams.

According to an email from the school’s athletic director, Fralick resigned as assistant girls basketball coach June 13 – in the middle of the school’s June 4 to 28 varsity girls basketball camp.

The physical education, driver’s education and health teacher was earning $102,026 in base salary with $4,807 in retirement enhancements and $15,350 in other benefits from the district, according to the district’s salary and benefits report dated Aug. 22.

Fralick is scheduled to appear in court March 29.

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