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Report Finds More Than 30 Instances Of Sexual Misconduct, Other Disturbing Behavior By Teachers, Staffers At Chicago Public Schools

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Those who watch over our kids day in and day out are supposed to be some of the most trusted people in the city.

But an investigation into last school year by the Chicago Public Schools Inspector General found more than 30 instances of disturbing behavior by teachers and others who work in the schools.

CBS 2's Tim McNicholas has been digging through the annual report by CPS Inspector General Nicholas Schuler.

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If a teacher learns a student has been abused, that teacher is required by CPS to report it to the state.

But a CPS Inspector General's report said in one case, "a special-education teacher at an elementary school posted confidential information about her students on her personal blog, which was accessible by the public over the internet. The information she posted included students' names, pictures and schoolwork, as well as sensitive details about their disabilities and troubled personal lives."

The Office of the Inspector General found that the teacher failed to notify the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The report said the Chicago School Board has started the process of firing her.

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In another case, an elementary school security officer was fired after an investigation determined that he "made inappropriate and lewd comments about women to students and adults, and otherwise behaved inappropriately in the workplace."

There was no evidence that the security officer made sexual comments about children, but he did say things like telling students "that their mothers were 'sexy,'" the report said.

A teacher at a high school is now on the CPS "do not hire" list after he "made several inappropriate and offensive comments to students, many of which were sexual and directed to female students."

The teacher, the report said, "also required students to write journal entries about their sexual turn-ons and fantasies for a grade."

And a temporarily assigned teacher at an elementary school spoke with seventh- and eighth-grade students about songs that referenced strippers at offered a student a tampon when she asked for a Band-Aid, the report said.

That conduct was not deemed sexual misconduct, but did violate CPS' professional rules, the report said. The teacher was already done with his temporary position once the Office of the Inspector General issued its report, but he was placed on the "do not hire" list.

The report does not name the employees or the schools. It says the majority of complaints to investigators fall under the category of "leering," "creepy behavior, or other potentially concerning behavior – a total of 208 in all for Fiscal Year 2019, or the 2018-2019 school year.

Many of the cases were for policy violations that improperly crossed boundaries with students. But some of the findings rose tot eh level of criminal charges.

In one such case, a now-fired school bus aide is facing a battery charge after he "approached a high school student from behind, he touched her inappropriately and made a sexual comment about her body."

In another, a vendor was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and predatory criminal sexual assault of a child on allegations that he exposed himself to her, showed her naked photos of himself, and inappropriately touched her.

The report came from a new unit in the Inspector General's office formed in 2018 to investigate sexual misconduct.

CPS says they have overhauled how they handle sexual abuse cases.

Accused adults are immediately removed from the school during the investigation, and CPS has employees directed to supporting and protecting the victims.


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