District 202 student board member raises concerns about former ETHS coach charged with child seduction

Olivia Alexander, Senior Staffer

Content Warning: This story contains mentions of sexual assault

During Monday’s Evanston Township High School/District 202 board meeting, student board member and ETHS junior Barbara Tomaradze said the school has failed to properly address the fact that a former coach was charged with sexual abuse. 

Coach Lorenzo Medrano worked at the school from 2017 to 2020 as a part-time marching band color guard coach. He was charged with child seduction of a 16-year-old student at a high school in La Porte County, Indiana during a period of time when he worked for both ETHS and the Indiana high school.

Tomaradze said students at ETHS complained about Medrano, but other coaches protected him and the school dismissed the complaints. He continued to work at the school, she said. 

“I don’t think I have to explain our opinions on that or why we feel the emotions we would feel as students,” Tomaradze said. “I understand this is your reputation (and) this is the school’s reputation, but these are our lives, and we want to make sure nobody is put into danger because of the protection of other employees at ETHS.” 

Tomaradze said she wanted to ensure the board knows students are aware of the arrest and are actively talking about it. She said to her knowledge, students have not heard from adults at the school regarding the abuses. 

ETHS says students are safe at school, Tomaradze said, but the complaints against Medrano were not addressed with the appropriate level of concern.

“I fear that other students will take this and think that they can’t come to adults at ETHS about accusations of assault or harassment, or any type of abuse that they face in the school,” Tomaradze said. 

In response, board president Pat Savage-Williams commended Tomaradze for her courage. She said the administration heard what she said and will respond. 

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