Report: Freeburg schools settle sex-abuse claims -

Report: Freeburg schools settle sex-abuse claims

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By Elizabeth Eisele By Elizabeth Eisele

 FREEBURG, Ill. (AP) — A newspaper says a southwestern Illinois school district is paying $5.6 million to settle several lawsuits by former elementary students who claimed they were sexually abused by the former superintendent.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports it obtained through the Illinois Freedom of Information Act the details about the four settlements involving Freeburg School District 70 and former Superintendent Robin Hawkins.

Many of the lawsuits alleged that the school system’s workers knew about the sexual-misconduct complaints dating to the 1980s involving Hawkins but failed to properly supervise him to prevent the abuse.

Hawkins killed himself in 2009.

As part of the settlements, the district denies any wrongdoing.

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