Chicago Public Schools watchdog issues troubling sexual misconduct report

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

The inspector general’s office (OIG) in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced that its Sexual Allegations Unit closed over 600 cases of reported allegations of sexual misconduct by school staff, contractors, teachers, and administrators this year, which was double the number of closed cases in 2021.

The Chicago Chalkbeat reported about the OIG’s findings.

Generally, when OIG closed a case, it either led to criminal charges, employee’s termination and a “Do Not Hire” notification in the employee’s file, removal of teaching credentials by the Illinois’s licensing body, or insufficient information to continue the investigation.

Interestingly enough, although teachers are dues-paying members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), the report did not mention that CTU represented the investigated individuals. It is an unusual omission because unions typically represent its members during internal investigations and it creates more questions than providing satisfactory answers.

For example, if a union member in a trade union is accused of misbehavior, the trade union could send a representative to work on the accused union member’s behalf during the investigation. Nothing in the OIG’s report mentioned CTU’s involvement at any level, which could lead to questions of whether CTU is doing its job to assist its members.

CTU’s lone public statement, regarding the OIG report, said that the union will work to protect students.

Overall, it is appalling to see the data on sexual misconduct in a public school district, but it is the reality of the world in which we live. Yet the OIG report’s left several unanswered questions when it comes to CTU’s involvement or potential culpability.