Report: Hundreds of Chicago Teachers Involved In Sexual Misconduct With Students An Alarming Trend

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Hundreds of Chicago Public Schools teachers sexually groomed, assaulted and molested CPS students last year, according to a report released this week.

The CPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said it received more than 600 “adult on student” misconduct allegations for the 2021-22 school year. More than half of these claims were substantiated, and 16 of them initiated criminal charges.

One of these cases surrounded a CPS Junior ROTC staff member, who had sex with a female high school student over the course of a year when she was 16 to 17. The report states he provided her with alcohol and asked her to buy him marijuana from other students.

The investigation revealed hundreds of text messages and calls between the staff member and and student, including “overtly sexual” ones. 

“I’m ready to f*** right now … I’m not gonna be gentle either,” he texted.

He later “threatened to kill the student and her family” if they disclosed the relationship to investigators.

Report: Hundreds Of Chicago Teachers Involved In Sexual Misconduct
Grooming and sexualization of children in schools has recently been a hot-button topic. (Photo by Martin Pope/Getty Images)

Another teacher is currently fighting termination with the Illinois State Board of Education for grooming and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old.

The student said he “touched and groped” her, “touching her thighs and buttocks under the pretext of removing lint from her clothing.”

“I like the way you look in your jeans,” he reportedly said.

Allegations against the teacher were corroborated by text messages on the CPS-sanctioned Remind app, Snapchat records, and a student witness who overheard a conversation between the teacher and student.

This particular teacher was charged with multiple accounts of sexual assault but acquitted by a jury in November.

Other Notable Examples Of Teacher Sexual Misconduct:

  • A high school teacher exchanged more than 4,000 text messages with a female student over two years. He sent 400 (400!) in one day. In the texts, the teacher told her he was “bisexual” and “in an open marriage and attracted to other people.” That same teacher asked another student to show him her underwear while they were talking in his office.
  • An employee of a CPS vendor asked a female student to dinner. He then sent her a nude photo of himself and asked if he could join her while she was babysitting.
  • An elementary teacher had sex with a student and “sexually touched” him over several years while he was 11 to 14 years old. He also sent gifts to the student’s family.
  • A high school gym teacher repeatedly exposed himself to a sophomore girl. He sent photos and videos of himself masturbating to another student.
  • An employee of a CPS vendor “asked a fourth-grade student why her lips were chapped and then stated that the student’s lips were chapped because she was ‘sucking dick.’”

Who Holds Teachers Accountable?

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed CPS Inspector General Will Fletcher in June 2020. He previously worked for the Illinois Attorney General and as general counsel for the Chicago Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards.

The OIG reported that during the school year, it opened investigations into 81 sexual touching cases, 35 cases of grooming, 33 cases of sexual abuse, 26 cases of sexual acts, 25 cases of in-person sexual comments, 14 sexual electronic communications, eight cases of outcry about past (sexual) conduct and 243 cases it deemed “concerning: other.”

The OIG also patted itself on the back throughout the report.

“In 2022, the SAU (Sexual Allegations Unit) closed more than 600 cases — over 300 more than it closed in 2021 — marking a period of significant progress for the unit,” the report reads.

What they didn’t highlight is that the unit also opened more cases in 2022 (447) than it did in the previous two years (325 in 2021 and 299 in 2020).

It seems peculiar that 600+ cases of sexual misconduct among teachers and students is considered progress, but the Office assures its constituents “the unit remains dedicated first and foremost to prioritizing student safety.”

With an alarming number of stories circulating about the sexualization of children in media and in schools, this CPS report is just one more reason for parents to be on high alert.

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.

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