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H-F Teacher Found Dead at Home

The teacher was discovered dead Tuesday afternoon during a well-being check, according to police reports.

Credit: H-F High School
Credit: H-F High School

Homewood-Flossmoor High School teacher Kevin Wall was found dead on Tuesday in his Homewood apartment.

Police discovered Wall's body while conducting a well-being check. According to police reports, he was found in the bath with signs of trauma to his right wrist.

Wall was recently the subject of a police investigation involving allegations that he was having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male H-F senior, according to a police report.

The school declined to comment on the investigation or Wall's employment status at the time of his death explaining that it was a personnel matter. 

Students were notified of Wall’s death Wednesday morning, and H-F High School has issued the following statement:

“Our school crisis team has been assembled and counselors are available to assist our students and staff through this difficult time and for as long as necessary.”

The 49-year-old English and Drama teacher had been at H-F High School for 9 years. He held a Master's degree from Loyola University in Chicago.

Despite the controversy surrounding Wall's final days, he is remembered by many in the community as a transformative instructor.

Wall’s cause of death has not yet been determined, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A letter with more information will be sent home with H-F students today, according to PR Director Jodi Bryant.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all impacted by this tragedy,” she said.

Reina B Thompson December 12, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Here are some facts. In this age of internet you have to become better at sifting through information because there is a lot of false info to find. For everyone who jumped to a conclusion shame on you. You judged the man and didn't even double check any other sources to see if it was true. How do I know this? I know because this is the only site that is saying anything about the incident. There is no author to back up the information, there is no bio about this author or editor
Reina B Thompson December 12, 2013 at 01:19 PM
If, and that is a big if, there was a relationship with a 17 year old student, that would be an HR issue not a criminal issue because the consent age in Illinois is 17. I was a theater student when Mr.Wall first got to the school. The man was brilliant. He deserves better than a blog site defaming his name posthumously. The only reason I even know he is dead is because the school website states he passed. I want more information, a smart individual would want all the facts before speaking about things they dont know.
Reina B Thompson December 12, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Most of the students that are friends with Mr. Wall are former students who have graduated. He was gay, intelligent, funny, a great director, he designed broadway worthy sets for a high school, he inspires people still. If anything, for his contribution to the community, this article should be corrected or prove credibility.
Ashley December 12, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Mr. Wall taught me all four years of High School. He was a man with so many commendable qualities. He taught his students not only about educational things, but also about life. Myself, and thousands of other students of his are extremely lucky to have had him as a teacher, a friend and for never ending guidance. It is a shame that so many people are bashing him, calling him a child predator. Until you know the truth, do not speak so poorly of a man that changed so many lives. For shame on everybody automatically assuming he did wrong, when there is not ONE clear piece of evidence that something in an inappropriate matter occurred. You are an adult and are supposed to teach your children the difference between right and wrong. How can you be teaching you child whats "right", by slandering a man who could quite have possibly done no wrong. Its distasteful. I wish you all would have had the opportunity to take his class, because then maybe you would have opened your eyes and realize how childish you are being. His own students, the supposed "prey", are sticking up for him. What does that show you? We are the ones that know him. You do not.
Miho Nakamumu December 12, 2013 at 02:18 PM
When i first read this article, I hated it. I thought it was ugly and unprofessional. But after a night's sleep and reading through these comments, I can't be angry with Ryan Fitzpatrick or the detailling of this article. Instead I'm concerned with how the rest of us reading this article will remember Kevin Wall. Kevin, like all of us here, was neither pure good nor pure evil. I far from the first to say he was an incredible person, insanely talented with only the best intentions for humanity and every student, colleague, friend of his alike; however, I will not be the last to say that he was extremely flawed in many other ways. It seems as those most everyone commenting on this article wants to push our memory and understanding of Kevin into B&W territory, but the the truth of the matter is that Kevin was an extremely complex person and extremely human--and yes, he was well aware of this. There is little reason, what with the details revealed in this article, to believe that Kevin did not commit suicide; those who knew him personally in any capacity should understand that there must have been something deeply and importunately troubling Kevin for him to have made the decision take his own life. Which of us could say that we are free from all vices, temptation, wrongdoing, or guilt? No one. Kevin shared a lot with me, and yes, I will say that he was not a perfect role model for students, and that he went about his teaching in an extremely unconventional fashion and at times even controversial. I do not disagree with the argument that teachers ought to be held to higher standards- there was and is no real reason that Kevin be made an exception. Yet, no one can ignore how profoundly Kevin impacted the HF community and his students. I have yet to hear a student of Kevin's speak poorly of him, and those students who are openly expressing their feelings of Kevin's passing has, every time thus far, been a testimony of how their lives have been changed for the better. You could have a high school full of teachers who have never been alleged of any crime and have textbook-prescribed perfect teacher personalities, but few of those teachers will be able to do in an entire lifetime of teaching what Kevin was able to accomplish by the end of his mere 49 years. As one of his former students, I truly loved Kevin. On more than a few occasions I hated him, too. His life doesn't make him any less guilty of an alleged crime, but that same life doesn't make him any less deserving of celebration and recognition of all the good he has done. Recognize that Kevin was a human being, and that human life is comprised of controversy over controversy with no definitive resolution that any one person or group of people can come with. I already miss him. And I am sorry that I couldn't have been able to further contribute his peace of mind. I am glad that the patch wrote an article they truly felt was necessary for the public, and I am glad that our community is willing to actively discuss it. We are all people here and I only hope that we can at the very least respect Kevin's self-awareness and intelligence by continuing to discuss this and future controversies both critically and with impartiality.
Michelle December 12, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Actually, since you all are going there, there is no stated "age of consent" in Illinois on the books. Each case is based on the circumstances, the general rule being that a relationship in which one party is over the age of 18 is open for investigation. That's why there are cases of parents pursuing charges against their 17 yr old's s.o. who is 19 - and the police are forced to at least do a preliminary investigation. But as Mike said, when an individual is in a leadership position the conduct is judged far more harshly.
Michelle December 12, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Wow, Miho. What a beautiful and well-written point of view. Totally appropriate and true.
Evelyn December 12, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Bobby Breeze...I want to tell you off. I want to tell you how disgusted I am by the remarks you've made. I want so many things, but I can't have them. I can't educate you into becoming a person of integrity, I can't compel you to understand things that you are not capable or willing to know. But this I know and this you will not change. My friend, my mentor was a better man than you will ever know. And ultimately, I don't care that you don't know. I KNOW. I SAW. I WITNESSED. I was blessed to have been given the chance to know him. I am sorry you weren't. Go ahead. Say the things you say and think the way you want. You won't change the truth. You won't take away my love for ANYONE. And that is what you want. You want me to take the information give to us by a young, inexperienced writer and believe it before anything is confirmed by an agency of the law or the school. I won't. You want me to think that gay men and women are not persons of integrity. I know better. I guess in the end, Mr. Bobby Breeze, you who hide behind the anonymity of the internet, will be left wanting more than I ever will. Because hundreds and hundreds of young men and women who Kevin taught will go on to become the good, kind, educated, strong people you will never let into your life. It is too late. Their enlightenment has occured and they know better than to listen to you. So there. That's what I have to say to all of the Madge's, Bobby Breeze's , Genvieve LaChappele's and Innocent Bystanders of the world. It's too late. You have already lost.
Evelyn December 12, 2013 at 05:37 PM
And Ryan Fitzpatrick, editor of the Patch. Since you choose to print the "TRUTH" I think the public deserves to know your sources. Where did you receive the information that was not even given to the next of kin? Who informed you and broke privacy laws that there was inappropriate behavior? Oh, that's right. You will hide behind the protection given journalists. I will still ask. Did the school tell you something? Did the Homewood Flossmoor police leak info to you? Where did you get your information?
Mike December 12, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Evelyn, please go home now. You've said your piece and we get it; because you're older, you're obviously wiser. However, you're not the editor, Ryan is. I'm sure he didn't pull that info from thin air. Face the reality, the allegations exist.
Bubbles December 12, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Evelyn, clearly you're hurting and that's understandable. But the story says the information came from a police report. Those are public record. It's not the Patch's fault. Or the schools. Or the police. It's Mr. Wall's fault and we need to accept that.
Evelyn December 12, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Sorry, Mike not going anywhere.
Master X December 12, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Do you truly believe that Ryan would pull the allegations out of thin air? He's simply the messenger, and chastising him for that fact is utterly ridiculous.
Evelyn December 12, 2013 at 06:45 PM
And there ya go. My point made. Thank you Mr. Breeze.
Anonymousx December 12, 2013 at 08:23 PM
Facts are facts, talking about how much you loved Mr.Wall and how he was a great man has nothing to do with the facts. If you want to express your opinions this is likely not the place for you. I dont understand how a crime such as child molestation can be overlooked because of the idea that a person is a, "great man". By what definition anyway? I wouldnt consider him a great man I would consider him a great teacher who made mistakes that are far greater than the mistakes a "great man" would make.
Happy December 12, 2013 at 08:40 PM
What Kevin Wall did was wrong! I also know someone who was groomed and molested by him! He was not a great man. Great men do not molest children. This fact should not be overlooked! A good teacher would not take advantage of their students. He was not a hero.
Harry Callahan December 12, 2013 at 09:22 PM
We have had 2 young teachers from local schools commit suicide as reported in a matter of several weeks with the Patch and many commenters the coverage was strong,but then again you had a school maintenance man who probably saved the life of a teacher who was choking while eating some food and he got very little recognition and coverage,so to all you educated know it all do gooders do me a favor and go out there and try to find for me were America has gone?Well I'm waiting!
AMC December 12, 2013 at 11:26 PM
I am a family member and we are all reading all the posts and comments about Kevin. His son, his mother, his brother, everyone. As anyone who lost a loved would want to read the tributes and memories other had for him. Like his students and friends and colleagues we miss him desperately. I don't know what kind of a troll you are, Concerned One, to infect this thread with your vile thoughts, true or not, but I will assume you are in pain about something and using this to lash out. I am flagging your comments as inappropriate, little good that will do I know, but otherwise, I just have to scroll on past. Anyway ... to all of you who are taking the time to post your good memories of Kevin, here and in other places on the web, I want to thank you so so much. I'm printing them out and saving them for relatives who aren't online. I can't tell you how much of a comfort they are and the solace your words bring to sad, aching hearts.
Evelyn December 13, 2013 at 12:40 AM
AMC, please accept my deepest sympathies to you and your family for your profound. loss. I'm glad you realize that many of these people are trolls. Some may be expressing fears and concerns but others are cruel for the sake of being cruel. By saying you assume they are in some kind of pain is incredibly kind.
Evelyn December 13, 2013 at 12:50 AM
And by the way, to Mike who told me to go away, it would appear that it is your hobby to comment on Patch. How many harsh comments did you make regarding the Tinley Park teacher's recent unfortunate death? Show some restraint.
Anon December 13, 2013 at 07:45 AM
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” I am sorry that we cannot all show love to family and friends in crisis. I am sorry that some of us see it fitting to write homophobic comments. I ask everyone to please proceed with compassion. Whatever flaws Kevin Wall had, his compassion was immeasurable. The countless memories and thanks given on facebook and other social media from his students lay testament to this. Let them be light to your darkness. I ask that whatever ignorance drives your hate, please, open your minds. I was only a few hours ago bragging about the diversity, unity, and acceptance for all held in my hometown. One of you called for parents to check their children’s phones, and find how many identified as gay or bisexual. As if this is regretful. I am proud to live in a place where people are loved and accepted for who they truly are. Where no one has to hide. Be them black, Latino, Asian, or white; gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, pansexual, or straight; Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or Atheistic; temporarily able-bodied or a person with a disability; whatever a person is, there is a place for them in Homewood-Flossmoor. What we do not have room or tolerance for is people so filled with hatred they are willing to add insult and rumor to tragedy, loss, and grief. I am only left to wonder why you thought these were appropriate comments to leave in a place where his family would read them? I hope that in your times of need, the community will show you love and compassion. I hope that you have a wonderful, beautiful, long life. And I hope that in those experiences, you will learn and grow in ways you have so far lacked.
Mike December 13, 2013 at 09:00 AM
Evelyn, if you were intelligent at all you would have been able to deduce that in both of these articles, I have not made harsh comments. Rather, I introduce people like you to what the rest of us call reality. There's always two sides to a story. You should try to not be so ignorant of that fact.
Madge December 13, 2013 at 07:15 PM
This is not a guest book at some funeral home website. It is supposed to be a comment section on a news source feed. There IS right and wrong, and we are allowed to say so and SHOULD say so!! OF COURSE Kevin was a talented teacher, OF COURSE this is so sad for his family and friends, but let's occupy reality here. Facts are facts. I have confirmed sources. If knowing the facts and not ignoring them is being hateful, then who are we protecting here, an adult in a position of authority or minors? High school kids still need protection whether they think so or not. Reality is not always kind, but it doesn't change the facts.
Madge December 13, 2013 at 07:40 PM
PS: If people commenting here start cross talking to other people specifically with such comments as unenlightened, racist, homophobic, anti- Semitic etc.. prove nothing other than they have lost their grip of a common sense conversation, crossing over to Alinski- like tactics of name calling to isolate the communication of a fair point. Shame on you! You know who you are.
Joe Shmo December 13, 2013 at 10:27 PM
For all you genius's in this community need to wake up! This Mr. Wall is a sick sick individual and makes me sick that community members want to praise this horrible act! I for one do not care if he was a golden apple winner or teacher of the year or whatever - teachers do not abuse the authority they have! The poor students is who I pray for! If you don't want to believe in these allegations then get off your lazy tails and go to the police station and file for the Freedom of Information Act and read for yourself! Thats the saying we say "we are hf"? I thought we had higher standards then allowing this type of behavior from anyone in our community.
Nicholas Anderson December 13, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Instead of pointing fingers at each other or getting angry about the article. We should just grieve together. Mr.Wall was a treasure to all of us in our own special way. Yes, we're mad about his death and we'll never understand why he did it, but all this anger will never do any good for us. This article isn't perfect, its far from the true. Sadly, these kind of events happen and end up starting a war that should never have existed. My mom told that the body will die but the soul will live forever. Mr.Wall is out there watching over us. And he would want us to stay strong and to keep moving forward. Lets step into the light, pass the hurt and heartaches that hound us. Lets stop cashing silver and throw in gold, for Mr.Wall, a man of few words, a man who has changed our lives.
Ernie Souchak December 16, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Welcome to the new Normal, where good deeds cancel out bad deeds, and there are always mitigating reasons for the bad deeds, which therefore should be ignored. I liked the old Normal better.
Niite Starr December 17, 2013 at 03:50 PM
I understand that what he may have done was wrong..., but so many people do wrong. I bet every single person in this world has done something they regret, or will do things they will regret. I know for a fact that I have, but who knows about him? All that happened was an investigation, information was never released if it was true or not. I understand many people's frustration. However, I don't feel everyone should beat him down over one thing. Yes, it might have happened (if I'm not mistaken, no absolute information was released) and yes, it's not a small thing he's being accused of. But we need to look past a lot of things to see a persons true colors.
Hermes Birkin December 17, 2013 at 07:33 PM
I'm shocked by so many of you. Kevin was a good teacher, ok. Kevin abused his position and took advantage of a student, not ok. How great of a teacher he was is erased when it comes to him violating a child. But he was a great teacher... Who really cares? There's a child who's suffering now as a result an adult.
Evelyn December 20, 2013 at 08:27 PM
It would seem that people take advantage of others all the time, Hermes. Some use people for money. Some for advancement. It's amazing how many ways people hurt and use one another. I don't understand why you think the entire, complex person that was this man could be completely erased by this mistake. I suggest all of us look in the mirror. What are our misdeeds that we ask forgiveness for? Whom have we used and not apologized to? I suppose that is a good thing to think about now, ask forgiveness before the opportunity passes us by.

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