Chicago Public Schools’ sexual abuse and misconduct cases everyone should know about – Wirepoints

By Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner – Wirepoint

Sexual abuse. Sexual misconduct. Grooming.

The allegations happen year after year at Chicago Public Schools. The list of abuses and complaints is long, according to the most recent report by the Chicago Board of Education’s Office of the Inspector General.

Start with these three cases:

Case No. 20-01345. “A security guard sexually abused a 16-year-old student for approximately five months. In his capacity as a security guard, he pulled the student out of class to have sex in various locations in the school, such as storage rooms and janitor closets. He also sexually assaulted the student in his car and his home.” 

Case No. 20-01530. “An intoxicated teacher groped an eleventh-grade student twice on the buttocks while at the school’s graduation. The student disclosed the teacher’s conduct to a staff member, who notified DCFS and the school’s then-principal. However, the principal failed to notify the Law Department of the allegations as required.”

Case No. 21-00326. An employee of a vendor after-school program sexually assaulted an elementary school student at the student’s school on multiple occasions between 2014 and 2017, when the student was seven to ten years old. The student disclosed three separate incidents: one in which the vendor employee touched and rubbed the student’s genitals under their clothes, and two in which the vendor employee touched and rubbed the student’s buttocks under their clothes. The abuse took place in the school’s gym and cafeteria.”

Those are but a few of the 446 cases the Inspector General detailed in his 2024 report, ranging from misconduct and sexual harassment to nonsexual conduct that raises “the appearance of impropriety or possible grooming concerns.” The total was similar in number to the 470 complaints the OIG revealed in his 2023 report.

With the amount of abuse that continues to occur since the Chicago Tribune first exposed the depth of the district’s crisis in 2018, CPS should be under the same extreme public pressure as the Catholic Church was when its own sex abuse scandals broke.

There should be firings. A strict one-strike-and-you’re-out policy. A public website that lists all CPS offenders, their histories, their whereabouts. A new rigorous screening process obsessed with a hiree’s character. A new set of mandatory “safe environment” training for all employees and vendors.

That’s just some of what the Chicago Archdiocese implemented in response to their own scandal. In contrast, CPS hasn’t implemented protections like those.

More cases continue to be reported every year as a result. The full list for 2023 is buried in the OIG’s 133-page report, so nobody sees them. We’ve broken a majority of them out, in short snippets, one by one. If you want the full story for each case, check out the OIG’s 2024 Report.

It’s bad enough that CPS doesn’t teach children how to read. What’s worse is that many also end up as victims of sexual abuse or grooming.


Cases Involving Sexual Acts

Case No. 21-00528: Elementary school teacher sexually assaulted a 12-year-old child in Indiana, and a child between the ages of 12 and 16 in Illinois, and was arrested in Indiana and sentenced to 50 years’ imprisonment.

Case No. 20-00580: Vendor employee of an outreach program had sexual intercourse with an eighth-grade student and communicated with them on social media and by cell phone.

Case No. 21-00326: Teacher groomed and sexually abused a 17-year-old student for a year.

Case No. 21- 00346: Vendor employee of after-school program sexually assaulted a 7-year old student on multiple occasions for three years.

Case No. 20-01530: Intoxicated teacher groped an eleventh-grade student at graduation. Principal failed to notify the law department.

Case No. 21-01132: Teacher confesses she engaged in sexual touching and other inappropriate behaviors with a 15-year–old student.

Case No. 20-01345: Security guard sexually abused a 16-year-old student for approximately five months. In his capacity as a security guard, he pulled the student out of class to have sex in various locations in the school, such as storage rooms and janitor closets.

Case No. 21-00155: High school cafeteria employee was indicted for sexually abusing a child, and stared at CPS students in an inappropriate manner.


Cases Involving Other Sexual Misconduct

Case No. 19-02019: High school coach sent 757 text messages to an 11th-grade student, including sexually explicit messages and a video of his genitals. Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office rejected charges.

Case No. 20-01232: Lunchroom employee sent a picture of his penis to a High School student.

Case No. 19-01109: Vendor employee sent sexually explicit Facebook messages to a 13-year-old.

Case No. 20-00400: Guest speaker encouraged students to contact him on Instagram and subsequently initiated sexual conversations.

Case No. 19-02541: Elementary school volunteer coach groomed eighth-grade student for sexual abuse, texting them late at night and encouraging the student to lie to their parents regarding their relationship.

Case No. 20-00234: Elementary teacher persistently touched female students on various parts of their bodies.

Case No. 22-00287: Staff member groomed a 16-year-old student with over 14,000 electronic messages.

Case No. 20- 00377: Security officer made inappropriate sexual comments to multiple female students.

Case No. 22-01106: Intoxicated vendor employee with long criminal history, who never went through a background check, made sexual advances towards a student

Case No. 21-01257: Substitute teacher engaged in sexual text message and snapchat conversations with a student.

Case No. 20-01455: Unvetted volunteer coach sent flirtatious social media messages and socialized outside of school with students

Case No. 20-00542: Teacher communicated that he “always had the biggest crush” to a twelfth-grade student.

Case No. 22- 00424: Vendor employee sent sexual text messages to high school students and subsequently threatened them by text.

Case No. 20-00289: Teacher sent sexually suggestive messages to “do him” to a tenth-grade student and engaged in extensive electronic communications with another student.

Case No. 22-00211: Security guard watched pornography on his phone in the cafeteria in full view of students.

Case No. 22-00766: Staff member engaged in sexual communications with an eleventh-grade student and exchanged 23 phone calls over three months.

Case No. 21-01161: Staff member posted explicit sexual jokes about oral sex on a student’s Facebook page.

Case No. 21-00320: Athletic coach asked a student for a kiss while driving them home and touched student-athletes gratuitously.

Case No. 19-00022: A vendor employee who mentored high school students engaged in prohibited conduct of a sexual nature with a 16-year-old student.


Other Serious Policy Violations

Case No. 22-01793: An IT vendor employee watched pornography on his cell phone while in the school’s computer room, plainly visible to students.

Case No. 22-01944: On school picture day, a student reported being uncomfortable by the employee of a photography company who touched a student’s neckline and told the student that their photos were “sexy as always,” and asked them for a hug.

Case No. 21-01141: A vendor security guard at a charter school made sexual comments to a tenth-grade student, including discussing male and female genitalia, condoms, and telling the student that they needed to be with a “grown man.”

Case No. 19-01300: A high school vendor employee engaged in sexual acts with a 19-year-old student and, once the allegations were reported, instructed the student to delete all communications between them.

Case No. 20-01325: A high school Special Education Classroom Assistant engaged in more than 6,000 phone communications with a high school senior, allowed the student to drive her car, and transferred money to the student.

Case No. 21-00996: Elementary school Special Education Classroom Assistant communicated with a student by cell phone, sent pictures of herself, called him “son,” and gave him $40 as a birthday gift.

Case No. 21-00485: High school teacher engaged in over 1,400 electronic communications with a tenth-grade student during a six-week period.

Case No. 20-00385: Volunteer high school athletic coach messaged students on Facebook and discussed his marital issues, then asked another student to delete their communications.

Case No. 21-00381: Elementary school staff member called and messaged a seventh-grade student late at night.

Case No. 20-01434: High school teacher exchanged hundreds of text messages with one student, exchanged non-school-related messages with students on a CPS app; the administration failed to report an allegation against the teacher.

Case No. 18-01645: Teacher communicated with a seventh-grade student via snapchat and cell phone and stored the student’s phone number under a false name.

Case No. 21-00160: High school Special Education Classroom Assistant exchanged dozens of calls and text messages with a student.

Case No. 21-00670: High school staff member made comments about a student’s appearance and clothing.

Case No. 19-02517: High school teacher stared at students and made comments about their appearance; touched students on the shoulder.

Case No. 19-01288: Elementary school substitute teacher entered girls’ restroom knowing that female students were inside.

Case No. 20-00321: Elementary school teacher touched students’ shoulders, backs, and legs to get their attention.

Case No. 21-01142: Special Education Classroom Assistant told a student that she looked like a model and asked her age.

Case No. 21-00898: Teacher recommended for training after students reported being uncomfortable by his touching them on the backs and shoulders.

Case No. 19-02330: Security guard reprimanded for commenting about a student’s body.

Case No. 21-00141: Teacher followed a CPS student on social media, sent her messages on Instagram, and “Liked” her pictures.

Case No. 22-0758: Security officer pursued a student on social media.

Case No. 21-00484: Teacher texted with students and self-reported her conduct after a student sent her a picture of a penis.

Case No. 19-01383: Teacher texted with a student over a six-month period, referred to herself as a “third parent” to the student.

Case No. 22-01126: Substitute teacher crossed boundaries by texting with a student about the student’s dating life.

Case No. 22-01588: Teacher repeatedly lied to investigators about his dating relationship with a former student.

Case No. 22-02149: Staff member took a four-year-old student to a coffee shop during school hours and told her not to tell anyone.

Case No. 20-00803: Elementary teacher stared at female students’ chests and buttocks.

Case No. 22-00952: Teacher violated boundaries by having a student at her home.

Case No. 21-01153: Teacher made an ambiguous, potentially sexual joke and engaged in various other boundary-crossing behaviors with female students.

Case No. 21-00702: Teacher/coach’s comments to students and boundary-crossing misconduct violated CPS guidelines.

Case No. 22-01685: Elementary substitute teacher touched students’ arms and shoulders, making them uncomfortable.

Case No. 18-01673: Staff members failed to properly report sexual misconduct allegations against an employee who was eventually criminally charged for the conduct.

Case No. 21-00480: Security officer crossed CPS boundaries with students during conversations with them.

Case No. 21-01168: Teacher engaged in a pattern of making unprofessional comments to students; his comments particularly harassed female students.

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