* The horrific background to this topic is here if you need it. Tribune…
In what federal officials called a historic enforcement action to protect students from sexual violence, Chicago Public Schools has entered into a legally binding agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and pledged extensive reforms in its handling of abuse and assault cases.
“This is one of the deepest dives that we have done” of a major urban public school district, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth Marcus said of his office’s yearslong investigation.
“This is an extraordinary and appalling case,” Marcus added. “It is one of the worst that we have seen in the elementary, secondary school context.” […]
The department began its investigations in 2015 but intensified the effort last year after the Tribune’s “Betrayed” series documented more than 500 police reports of sexual assault or abuse of a child inside a Chicago public school during the prior decade, and uncovered child-protection failures that extended from neighborhood schools to the district’s downtown offices and the state capital.
* Um, what?…
Your public school system employed hundreds of sexual predators and that is your response?
…Adding… From June of last year…
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are calling on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to examine the sex abuse scandal at Chicago Public Schools, calling it a “horrifying situation.”
In a letter sent Thursday to DeVos, the two Illinois Democrats wrote that they were concerned federal education officials may be ignoring systemic child-protection breakdowns that could be “putting Chicago schoolchildren at greater risk of becoming victims of sexual abuse.”
So, both of our Democratic US Senators asked the Education Secretary to step in. She did. And now Lightfoot is complaining about it? Ridiculous.
…Adding… June 26, 2018 press release from Lightfoot for Chicago…
Following is a statement from mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot in response to the news that Chicago Public Schools’ leadership has removed two principals in response to the sexual abuse scandal:
“The mayor and his hand-picked school board, with its revolving door of CEOs, have failed our kids again and again–from refusing to address root causes of this sexual abuse crisis to neglecting special education and janitorial services.
“This administration has been busying itself with window dressing fixes. What our kids need is wholesale change–and that starts at the top.
“Firing a couple of principals just doesn’t cut it. We need to know why Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CEO Janice Jackson waited five months to take action–a delay that has gone unexplained and speaks to an epic failure of leadership. We also need an elected, representative school board that Chicagoans can hold accountable in moments like these.”
She has since kept Jackson at CPS and killed an elected school board bill.
…Adding… Tribune has full quote…
“I feel comfortable that Dr. Jackson and her team frankly learned a very, very valuable lesson about making sure that we’re doing everything we can inside of the classroom, keep our students safe, initiating very rigorous background checks on people who are engaging with students and then when we see something, having an appropriate process to do the investigation where we’re not revictimizing young children,” Lightfoot said.
Asked about the Department of Education’s criticism of CPS, Lightfoot responded: “This is the same Department of Education headed up by Betsy DeVos? Yeah. Well. I take a little bit of what they say with a grain of salt.”
The mayor added: “We’re committed to making sure that our students are safe but as you see as a theme, there are members of the federal government who think it’s appropriate to tee off against Chicago. I read with great interest the comments from the head of the civil rights division for the department of education and as I said, I take some of those comments with a grain of salt. Consider the source. But nonetheless we’re going to do what’s necessary to keep our children safe.”