Wonder Lake Jr. High School Teacher Arrested

A press release from the McHenry County Sheriff:

McHenry Man Arrested on Disorderly Conduct Charges

Scott Smessaert, 7 & 8th grade teacher at Wonder Lake's Harrison School.

Scott Smessaert, 7 & 8th grade teacher at Wonder Lake’s Harrison School.

Detectives from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office served criminal warrants on June 24, 2016, on Scott Smessaert of McHenry, Illinois, for Disorderly Conduct.

On May 26, the Sheriff’s Office received information from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) that a teacher from Harrison School in Wonder Lake, was conversing with a student through text messages outside of school.

Due to the content of the text messages an Investigation was initiated.

Evidence and interviews conducted by detectives ultimately led to the identification and arrest of Smessaert.

After being arrested, Smessaert was taken into custody and transported to McHenry County Correctional Facility.

He has since bonded out.

Detectives worked with the administration of Harrison School throughout the Investigation.

Harrison School students were already dismissed for summer break when the Sheriff’s Office was notified by DCFS.

ARRESTED: Scott Smessaert (Male, 42), McHenry, IL

CHARGES: 1 count of Disorderly Conduct (Class C Misdemeanor)

BOND: $150.00

NEXT COURT DATE: July 22, 2016


Wonder Lake Jr. High School Teacher Arrested — 20 Comments

  1. I am not sure if I disagree with the way Illinois classes crimes but: Name another Class C misdemeanor that is worth writing about … see what I’m saying.

    This charge of disorderly conduct is what happens when you don’t have a real charge against the person. Disorderly Conduct is a garbage catch all charge that should be unconstitutional but we have judges decide what is constitutional or not, so it’s not.

  2. No kidding, Watching.

    that is precisely correct!

    It IS a bravo sierra charge.

    I have no idea what to think about this case, but that is exactly what I thought when I read disorderly conduct.

    Everybody knows that is a garbage pail charge.

  3. When it involves a student and a person that has been around other kids, you better believe it’s worth writing about.

    Especially with a small town like Wonder Lake.

    Why wouldn’t you want to inform others of what’s going on in their city or may have more information?

  4. Disorderly conduct is a fraud.

    It empowers police to arrest who they don’t like and let go who are their pals.

    This is the kind of BS that gets the citizenry mad AT THE POLICE.

    It’s a shame.

  5. A lot of educator misconduct cases involve grooming via texting or other electronic means.

    The DCFS believed the incident as noteworthy enough to pass to the police.

    The police had to make a judgement call.

    Arrest or wait to see if the situation escalated to more serious charges, possibly putting the alleged victim at greater risk.

    Not sure of the exact situation here, but over 300 public school employees hace been convicted of sex crimes in Illinois.

    It is a nationwide problem.

  6. Amen, Mark.

    Maybe the charges won’t stick but it puts everyone on notice.

    Don’t teachers have a code of conduct to abide by?

    I’m a youth leader at a local church and we have policies that explicitly address these type of concerns to protect all parties.

    This is how bigger problems start.

    Some of you are quick to decry this, yet would you be among the first to express outrage had it been allowed to escalate?

  7. A couple of policemen read the anger about the phony “disorderly conduct” arrest accusation and they come up with the typical trite defense.

    “OH, we have to help the children.”

    Give me a break.

    Police are continually getting a bad name because they are ATTACKING their own citizens.

    They love to over zealously abuse their power to destroy the tax payers – just to prove their power.

    If police felt comfortable that this guy was a criminal, then go after something other than “disorderly conduct”.

    Technically, WE ARE ALL GUILTY OF “DISORDERLY CONDUCT” every single day.

    So, if a policeman is in a bad mood, we are arrested.

    If they’re happy or we are with them socially, it’s ok.

    Stop this nonsense, cops!

    If you defend this overzealous power play, all you do is get people AGAINST YOU.

    Don’t you read the anger of the regular population?

    We’re sick of government slamming your heel on our lives.


    “Disorderly Conduct” – give me a break.

  8. This is sad the teacher set up a math help text group (that the school new about).

    Kids and parents used it every day over 5000 texts, and they make it seem like the teacher was asking for kids numbers.

    One sided story, and sad the way it was reported

  9. Really? Every single day?

    We must have different definitions.

    The amount bitterness toward law enforcement in this post is unreal.

    Comments toward Police = 5

    Comments about the 42 year old man that was arrested for sending questionable text messages to a underage 7th/8th grader outside of school = 0


  10. Dillon, great comment.

    However, if you’re really interested in learning the answer to the problem you have raised, you have to ask yourself:

    WHY has the citizenry (in general) turned from supportive to fearful of police?

    I too have noticed a dramatic change.

    There has to be a REASON.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, too many police are too eager to arrest, harass, and mistreat their fellow citizens.

    Some of this may have to do with pressure from our failed politicians and city governments.

    Some of this may have to do with pressure to gain more revenue for overspending communities (who can’t tax more because taxes are already too high).

    Some of this may be due to fear of getting sued (esp. in domestics) and a failed legal justice system in general.

    But to be surprised that the citizenry is skeptical of police with the rather aggressive approach most PDs and Sheriff Departments have been pursing the citizenry….that’s a bit naive.

    If you desire to have people respect you – treat them with dignity, compassion, and respect.

    That approach is very effective at gaining community support.

    Getting on a roof, tossing a ball, having a coffee meet-and greet, and waving a flag helps nobody.

    It wouldn’t take too long to list all the ridiculous charges brought against so many good people – and this appears to be on the INCREASE.

    Dignity, compassion, and respect.

  11. 6 to 0, wow. If you break this story down to its simplest form, a teacher sending a student text messages, that student, and probably the parents felt the messages were questionable, possibly inappropriate.

    They call the authorities, they bring him in.

    And all you can comment about is your resentment toward Police?

    Well this story isn’t about you, and I’m sure that student and parents are grateful that the authorities were brought in and did what they did, even if you think otherwise.

    Or maybe that student should have called those in this post that are so bitter, and you could have done a better job?

    And maybe I’ll be bitter and criticize the job you did.

    This will be my last post, and since I’ve counted 2 “Amen”s, I’ll add a third.

    I pray that nothing like this happens to any of your loved ones and that this story is resolved swiftly for the sake of everyone involved, Amen.

  12. I work with this individual at his part time job.

    I personally saw him sharing pictures of students on his personal phone.

    Pictures, of any kind, of students should never be on personal devices.

    All contact with students outside of the classroom should be through the school website and use the email provided there.

    This way, both teachers and students are protected.

  13. If I were the kid’s dad, I would have sternly spoken with the teacher and that would be the END of the matter.

    Call the police?

    That would have been that LAST thing on my mind.

  14. I attended this school just this year.

    These “suspicious” or “inappropiate” texts were not inappropriate at all.

    I honestly think, as having this man as my teacher, that those words were an exaggeration of what the texts really were.

    He often conversed with the students to the point you would like a friend, and sent popular internet fads and jokes and the such to them, because that’s what was popular to talk about among the students.

    These are the may have been deemed “inappropriate for school,” which quite honestly, is an exaggeration.

    Internet memes.

    That’s all they were.

  15. It’s funny how the commenters here totally missed one big point.

    By commenting here you have caused someone to be upset thereby committing disorderly conduct.

    We should gather your names, obtain arrest warrants and have you arrested in front of your children for the sole purpose of demonstrating why this is wrong.

    Oh, then we should put it in the paper because it’s news.

    To me this is hilarious.

  16. Of the over 300 Illinois public school district employees whom have been convicted of sexual misconduct, many of them have had people supporting them in blogs, letters to the editors, on the radio, on TV, in court, etc.

    Since the police have not released the evidence, for good reason, we don’t know exactly what transpired between the teacher and minor.

    But the police thought there was enough evidence to justify the charge.

    A parent taking the matter into their own hands is not doing the next victim any favors.

    For decades many school districts practiced passing the trash, letting the suspected perpetrator resign, often with a letter of recommendation, only to have the perpetrator get hired by another school district (passing the trash).

    Some of those later committed and were convicted of crimes against minors.

  17. @Watching, it’s funny how you’re missing the point.

    Unless of course you enjoy disorderly conduct with minors.

    If that’s the case then I’m ok with you being arrested in front of your children in the hope that they see what happens to scum bags that prey on minors.

    Hilarious, right!

    Check and mate:)

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