RCHS teacher arrested for sexual contact with a minor


A teacher from RCHS has been arrested and charged with four felony counts related to inappropriate sexual contract with a minor in Manhattan, Ill.

Dayna Chidester, 50, of Manhattan, has been arrested and charged with four felony counts including grooming and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Superintendent Mark Mitchell sent the following statement to parents this afternoon:

"I am incredibly disappointed to have to contact all of you after what was hopefully a wonderful holiday season with your families.

Unfortunately, the District received some very troubling news yesterday afternoon regarding a criminal investigation of Mrs. Dayna Chidester, a Reed-Custer High School teacher. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office informed us that Mrs. Chidester was arrested on January 3, 2019 due to allegations of unlawful sexual activity not involving any Reed-Custer students. The District had accepted Mrs. Chidester’s resignation one day before learning of the arrest. Mrs. Chidester’s resignation was due to a separate and ongoing drug-related investigation by the Braidwood Police.

"Based upon the information received from both the Braidwood Police Department and the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, in addition to the District accepting Mrs. Chidester’s resignation, she will not be allowed on school property and will be barred from having any contact with Reed-Custer students.

"Mrs. Chidester taught Family and Consumer Science classes at Reed-Custer High School. She also supervised the COOP work program, oversaw the teaching internships, and co-sponsored the FCCLA organization. Reed-Custer administrators will address students involved in those classes and programs upon return to school on January 8, 2019. The District will also have members of its Crisis Team available for students as needed. If you have any information that you feel should be shared, please contact an administrator at Reed-Custer High School or the District office."

Reed-Custer High School: 815-458-2166

District Administration Center: 815-458-2307

"Please know that stringent hiring practices are and have always been in place at Reed-Custer CUSD 255. All candidates are interviewed and references are checked. Before being Board approved, all candidates must go through a criminal background check that follows guidelines set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education. This criminal background check includes fingerprinting. Unfortunately, these checks have no way of flagging activity that occurs after the fact. The District is very sorry to have to share this news with all of you. Please know that the safety of your children remains our highest priority.

An official Press Release will be sent later today."