Report: Chicago Schools Failed to Protect Students From Pervasive Abuse

A Chicago Tribune investigation found that the city’s public school system failed to properly report sexual misconduct between school staff and students and failed to properly background check staff members—allowing some workers with sexual assault charges on their records to be around children. Since 2011, the school system “investigated 430 reports” of employees’ sexual abuse, and more than half those cases were found to be credible. A track athlete was repeatedly raped by her coach, and the school system “undermined” her claims while fighting her civil suit against them, according to the newspaper. The school district was allegedly aware that a security guard had been groping students as early as 2011—but action was not taken against him until 2014. In another case, school officials discovered that a substitute teacher was sending lewd texts to a student, and subjected the student to repeated interrogations by school staff before getting the police involved, the newspaper said. The Tribune also found that 72 Chicago school workers who have been accused of misconduct since 2008 had “prior arrests related to alleged sexual offenses involving children, or drug, weapons, assault or theft allegations[.]”