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Chicago Tribune report finds 500 cases of sexual abuse, rape in CPS schools over 10 years

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A report by the Chicago Tribune uncovered more than 500 cases of sexual abuse at CPS schools over the last ten years. (WLS)

Hundreds of Chicago Public Schools students have been sexually abused by CPS employees over the past ten years, according to a Chicago Tribune report published Friday.

In an article titled, "Betrayed," Tribune reporters detailed more than 500 reports of sexual abuse and rape at CPS schools over the last decade. The report drew from police, public and confidential records.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson sent a letter to all parents of CPS students, detailing steps that are being taken to protect students.

"I'm a parent, I'm a woman this is unacceptable to me," Jackson said.

Tribune reporters spoke to several former CPS students, who said they were abused by coaches, security guards and teachers.

In some cases, teachers and principals who heard reports of abuse failed to notify police or the Department of Child and Family Services. Such reports are required under Illinois' mandated reporter law.

"We are going to train everybody again top to bottom, every principal, teacher paraprofessional, individuals who work with students, we want to make sure everybody is crystal clear on their responsibilities as a mandated reporter," Jackson said.

Jackson said CPS will conduct random background checks on current employees as well as applicants. A former Assistant U.S. Attorney will also do a top-to-bottom analysis of CPS's sexual abuse policies and procedures.

As a precaution, all CPS employees accused of sexual assault will be removed from schools immediately rather than waiting to see if the evidence is credible.

"Parents need to have the confidence we have the structures in place to prevent this from happening," Jackson said.

Representatives from parent group Raise Your Hand said they were horrified by the report and called for schools to have more social workers and counselors.

"I know school is about academics, but we need to be really looking out for our kids in their social and emotional needs," said Jennie Biggs of Raise Your Hand.

According to Raise Your Hand, CPS cut dozens of social workers and school counselors over the last few years.
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chicago public schoolssexual assaultrapechild sex assaultsex abuse against childrenChicago
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