Readers React: English Teacher Charged with Sexually Assaulting Student
Some of our readers said they knew Edwin Klemm and testified to his character; others were a bit more caustic. Here are some local reactions to the story.
Response was swift and explosive to our announcement Wednesday morning that Wheaton North High School teacher Edwin Klemm, of St. Charles, has been charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault of a teen, after he had sexual encounters with a former student starting when she was 16 in a classroom, a parking garage in Chicago and at his home, according to prosecutors.
Several respondents claimed to have been Klemm's students at one point; others are Wheaton North parents and still others had no personal connection, but still had something interesting to share.
We collected some of the responses from the article and from Wheaton Patch Facebook (that were posted before 6 p.m.) and have them below:
Zoe Barker: "He was my speech coach at North from 2004-2008 and I had nothing but respect for him at that time. I never had any unpleasant or inappropriate encounters with him. He was funny and joked around, but was never unprofessional. Something must have seriously changed. This is very shocking and sad and sickening to see."
Jim McMahon: "He should take the plea deal and man up to his crime. Robert Mueller (Hinsdale Central coach) made the mistake of going to trial and lost...got 27 years."
Phyllis Spagnola Banducci: "He was a great teacher! ... Wow this makes me ill. Is that girl going to suffer any consequences? She should! She was 16 and knew very well what she was doing which is why she said it was wrong and broke off the relationship."
Debbie Develin Yaun: "This makes me sick. I hope the school district does all they can to keep people like this out of our schools!"
Christy Elenbaas Phanthavong: "Let's wait to see how this plays out. I haven't interacted with Ed Klemm in years, but when I last knew him, he was a good guy."
Misse Eilertsen Roberts: "The email we got from District 200 said Criminal Assault... Didn't say 'sexual.' Interesting."
Saiward Brown: "The email from the district said 'Criminal Assault by Person in Authority or Position of Trust' which if I'm understanding means that individual charges can be prosecuted differently because they are held to a higher standard because of their position."
Paula Coyle: "I read conflicting reports regarding her age. This is extremely disheartening. He was an amazing teacher."
Joshua Christian Noetzel: "LAWL... oh good god hahaha, all my jokes came to life."
Kevin Keenan: "Anyone who tries to blame the 16-year-old victim in any case like this is a moron. She is the victim!"
“1234”: "I feel tricked and lied to but I'm very disappointed. If anything people need to stop complaining and start praying. Keep in mind his little girl, this is something she will live with for the rest of her life. She is the real victim."
Charlotte Drealpool: "Doesn’t matter / had sex."
Gina Lattarulo: "I went to school with this sick pig. Hang him!"