PRINCEVILLE (25 News Now) – A situation purportedly unfolding behind the school’s safe doors is about to make its way through court, but the young man at the center of it doesn’t want to wait for a judge.
Noah Guzman, 18, said Tuesday night in front of the Princeville Board of Education that he feels a sense of silence. It was said that a companion had taken a picture of him in the meantime.
Guzman was given an emergency protection order in December against two students he claims took the photos. A Peoria County judge ordered two students to stay at least 25 feet apart.
But Guzman says that’s not enough, as other students’ lives seem to be “back to normal.” Meanwhile, he says he can’t sleep at night and fears for safety at school.
The Order of Protection alleged that two Princeville High School students, both minors, took Guzman’s non-consensual photo while using the restroom.
Guzman’s father was notified of the incident in December, but it is not clear when the photos were taken. Guzman believes the photo was shared and posted on social media.
“The district needs to do more to end bullying,” Guzman told the school board.
Guzman said he was very nervous after learning about the photo.
“It’s not just the photo incident. There are many forms of harassment and bullying at school,” Guzman said.
In court documents, he also alleges that the same two students harassed him about his sexual orientation, sexual activity, and other “humiliating issues.”
“I can’t put into words the pain I feel from this, especially as someone who has been diagnosed with autism. I have a much higher level of stress over things like this than other people without autism.” Because I feel,” he wrote in the document.
Guzman was able to get support from other classmates and parents at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“In general, I need to know if my son is a victim, and I don’t even know about it,” said Kari Lewis, a school guardian.
Princeville Middle/High School Superintendent Shannon During did not confirm the incident, nor did he say whether disciplinary action had been taken.During provided the following statement:
“The school district has a student misconduct and discipline policy that we follow in all cases. However, due to student privacy concerns, we are unable to comment on the details of individual cases.”
“As a community, I think we need to stand strong and not be afraid to speak up, no matter what we think or how we feel,” Guzman said.
The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.
Copyright 2023 WEEK. All rights reserved.