Roland “Rob” Cross, attorney for the Springfield School District, said that the district’s insurance company negotiated the settlement and school board approval is not required.
Jennifer Tyree, the former teacher, is facing sexual assault charges for allegedly having sex with the boy and with another Lanphier student. Neither the district nor any of the other defendants in the lawsuit admitted any wrongdoing in the settlement signed Friday, apparently by the student’s mother and the boy, whose name was redacted in a copy of the agreement obtained by Illinois Times.
“It is understood and agreed that this settlement is the compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim, and that the payment made is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the parties hereby released, and that said releasees deny liability therefore and intend merely to avoid litigation and buy their peace,” reads the agreement.
In addition to Tyree and the school district, Lanphier principal Artie Doss and former district human resources director Alexander Ikejiaku are named as defendants in the lawsuit and released from liability in the settlement. Ikejiaku resigned after the arrest of Tyree, who was one of several district employees permitted to teach despite not having proper credentials.
In the lawsuit, the student’s attorneys say that the illicit relationship in the fall of 2012 was well known within the school, where Tyree wore the boy’s football jersey during school hours. At least one teacher brought the matter to Doss’s attention, according to the lawsuit, but nothing was done until Tyree’s husband contacted the boy’s mother and police were called.