There has recently been increased national attention on keeping our students safe while they are at school. This debate typically revolves around the school shooting epidemic, but Chicago Public Schools have another epidemic that has yet to be dealt with appropriately.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported an extensive analysis concluding that over the last decade, police have investigated 523 reports of children being sexually assaulted inside CPS. In many of these reported cases, CPS failed to alert child welfare investigators or police, despite being mandated reporters. In some cases, inadequate background checks led to employment of educators who had been arrested or convicted of sex crimes against minors. Coaches, security guards, teachers, and fellow students have been sexually assaulting children with little to no accountability.

We know that if there are 523 reported cases of sexual misconduct, there are hundreds of instances that have gone unreported due to students’ understandable fear of retaliation, or the proven lack of consequence for perpetrators.

Chicago NOW takes a strong stand against sexual harassment and sexual assault, especially when it affects our youngest generation. The damage that CPS has caused these students is insurmountable and needs to be rectified immediately. CPS must be held accountable to protect its student body. Chicago NOW asks CPS to publicly indicate how they plan to protect their students moving forward.

http://graphics.chicagotribune.com/chicago-public-schools-sexual-abuse/#gaddy