A teacher at Grant Community High School in Fox Lake is free on bond Wednesday after police said she provided students with alcohol, marijuana and an antidepressant in exchange for household chores.
Kym A. Krocza, 41, of 36300 N. Wilson Road in Ingleside, was charged with two counts of contributing to the criminal delinquency of a juvenile, a Class 4 felony punishable by up to six years in prison.
She taught algebra and calculus.
The Lake County Sheriff's Office began its investigation after a concerned parent reported that her child had been to Krocza's home and was given alcohol and marijuana. Another student also had been given alcohol, marijuana and Zoloft, according to a news release. Both students were 14-year-old female freshmen, Sheriff Mark Curran said.
"She befriended them before they were even students of hers," Curran said. "She enticed them with Zoloft, marijuana and alcohol, and they would come over and do favors in terms of cleaning up her house."
The incidents are believed to have taken place between January and August. Additional charges are possible. Curran said Krocza had no previous criminal record.
"Everybody was victimized by a person with an immoral worldview that shouldn't be educating our youth," he said.
The Sheriff's Office encourages parents to talk with their children about the incident, and the office continues to investigate whether there were other children involved.
According to the school's Web site, Krocza was arrested Tuesday morning at her home. She has been suspended and is not allowed on school grounds, nor is she authorized to contact students.
Superintendent John Benedetti said that whether Krocza's suspension will be with pay has not been decided. He declined to comment further, other than to say she was hired in 2000.
Raedel Munster, whose son is a senior at the school, said she was notified of the arrest Tuesday via e-mail. Her son did not know about the accusations and did not have Krocza as a teacher, but two of her older children did, Munster said.
"They never had anything bad to say about her," she said.
Munster said that she was pleased with how administrators were handling the situation.
"I think the superintendent contacted the parents by the best means possible to let them know that something was going on," she said. "I commend them for it; many school districts would try to cover these things up."
Had the situation arisen when her firstborn was in school, she probably would have been upset, Munster said.
"But you realize that there are all kinds of people in this world, and some of them become teachers," she said. "There are some circumstances a school district can't control."
Krocza's bond was set at $50,000. Her next court date is Friday.
By SARAH SUTSCHEK
September 17, 2009
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