Chicago Public Schools Receives More Than 600 Sexual Assault Complaints In One Semester


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Neetu Arnold Contributor
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Chicago Public Schools (CPS) had nearly 600 sexual assault allegations filed in one semester, with 133 of the reports alleging adult misconduct.

Close to 500 of the allegations reported student-on-student sexual violence, The Associated Press reported Thursday. District officials said on Wednesday many of the allegations against adults were those who worked for the district.

It is unclear how many of the allegations were situations that occurred in the 2018-2019 school year, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Office of Student Protections and Title IX was created in 2018 after the Tribune showed CPS did not effectively respond to sexual assault allegations, The AP reported. (RELATED: Dartmouth College Sued Over Allegations Three Professors Fostered Drunken Environment That Encouraged Sexual Assault)

Examples of sexual abuse allegedly faced by students included a track athlete being raped 40 times by a coach, a substitute teacher kissing a 14-year-old girl and a student getting groped by a security guard and track coach, according to the Tribune’s report “Betrayed.” There were 523 reports of children who were sexually assaulted or abused inside the public schools between 2008 and 2017.

Pictured is the Chicago skyline. SHUTTERSTOCK/ marchello74

Pictured is the Chicago skyline. SHUTTERSTOCK/ marchello74

The Tribune said in its report that some teachers and principals did not immediately alert child welfare investigators when an abuse allegation was made. Children were also exposed to employees with criminal convictions and arrests for child sex crimes because CPS did not have efficient background checks.

The Department of Education withheld $4 million from CPS due to lack of compliance on Title IX rules, the Tribune reported on Sept. 28.

The Title IX Office’s roles include handling reports of student-on-student sexual assault allegations, providing support to student victims and training staff on their child-protection tasks, according to the Tribune. Adult-to-student related allegations need to be given to CPS Inspector General Nicholas Schuler.

Close to 130 CPS employees, including nine teacher and 35 classroom aides, had to be “terminated, recommended for dismissal, or simply resigned amid scrutiny” due to background check issues earlier in the year. The background check was done before the start of this school year and was an “unprecedented step to recheck all employees,” the Tribune reported.

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