At Lincoln Park High School meeting, CPS officials say 4 separate misconduct investigations are ongoing

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Students and some parents at Lincoln Park High School are demanding two administrators be reinstated after they were removed from their positions due to misconduct allegations.

Chicago Public Schools held a meeting Monday evening during which officials discussed a transition plan for the high school.

Lincoln Park High School parents and students were baffled by an email CPS sent Friday announcing that the interim principal and the vice principal have been removed from their jobs. The letter also announced the boys basketball coach and dean have been reassigned and that the remainder of the varsity boys basketball season has been suspended.

RELATED: Lincoln Park High School community demands answers after basketball suspended, principal removed for misconduct allegations
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Students and parents at Lincoln Park High School are outraged after the school's principal and assistant principal were removed over misconduct allegations involving the basketball team.

In its letter, CPS said these actions were necessary for quote "the safe and supportive educational environment your children deserve" after alleged "serious misconduct involving the athletics program."

"Your facts seem insanely unclear and I think you need to admit that you made an insanely big mistake and reinstate our principal and vice principal," said Ella Wong, LPHS junior, at the meeting.

Hundreds of teachers, students and parents attended the meeting, looking for answers and to be heard.

"It would be unconscionable for CPS to decapitate the most student-focused, faculty-focused, safety-focused and community dedicated administration it has had in anyone's memory," said Mary Beth Jones, LPH Local School Council and parent.

But they said they got neither. CPS officials would only say the recent firing of administrators and the suspension of the boys basketball team stemmed from allegations of misconduct involving multiple students and incidents.

Officials said the allegations include multiple instances of sexual misconduct, repeated retaliation against witnesses and complainants, investigation interference, and withholding evidence from investigators. When CPS was repeatedly asked to elaborate, officials said the investigation was ongoing.

Later an official said, "There are both allegations of adult on student sexual misconduct as well as student on student."

CPS said there are now four different investigations, but said they could not give more information. That appeared to leave this community even more unsettled and uncertain about the school's future.

Monday morning students and some parents walked out of class in support of the fired administrators.

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Students at Lincoln Park High School walked out of class Monday morning in support of two fired administrators.

Joined by some parents, the students left the school around 10:30 a.m. to demand the principal and assistant principal be re-instated. Some parents told ABC7 they're just looking for a clear explanation from Chicago Public Schools. The group marched toward CPS headquarters, hoping to have a conversation with school district leadership.

Players on the basketball team said not only is their promising season being cut short, the move jeopardizes college recruitment for upperclassmen.

"My recruitment just opened," said Romelle Howard, basketball co-captain and senior. "I'm trying to go as far as I can with this."

Beyond the limited explanation of what risk students were put in, some are upset that new principal John Thuet was kicked out after making positive changes.

ABC7 has reached out to CPS by phone and email for comment. So far, the district has not yet responded.
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