2 Investigators: School System Ignored Safety Concerns
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CHICAGO (CBS) If your child feels unsafe at school, and you want them transferred to a new school, what do you think would happen?
Families say officials with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) drag their heels and even prevent transfers, further endangering their kids. 2 Investigator Dave Savini found the district has been lacking a policy to deal with this safety concern.
Since 2008-2009 school year, Edwina Meyer has been trying to get a transfer out of Scammon Elementary School, 4201 W. Henderson St. She says she feels unsafe.
“It’s terrible,” Meyer says. “It’s like so much happened in that classroom.”
She says she has witnessed multiple X-rated acts while in class.
Meyer was reportedly not alone in witnessing this behavior. Laura Flores says her daughter also witnessed the sex acts.
“My daughter was psychologically damaged by it, in the way she had nightmares, she fretted about going to school,” Flores said. “She was afraid.”
Flores and Susan Meyer, Edwina’s mother, both say that during the past two years, they wanted their daughters transferred to different schools for safety reasons. But they say school officials fought them, even though they acknowledge the sex acts occurred and fired the teacher.
Edwina Meyer says even after the teacher was fired, problems persisted. She says she was bit, inappropriately touched and she says denied access to the bathroom. Meyer says she wet herself and was forced to sit in her own urine.
“I don’t have an explanation from anybody why it’s happening,” Susan Meyer said.
She removed her daughter from Scammon and has been trying to have her placed in a new school.
The problem is there have been no official CPS policies to help students transfer when they felt unsafe.
Meyer wanted her daughter, who has special education needs, to go to a new school, Lorca, which opened just blocks from her home. She says CPS officials refused.
Finally, they were told Edwina Meyer could switch, but to a school five miles away without bus transportation. That is impossible, says her mother, who has no car. That left Edwina sitting at home.
“She doesn’t deserve this,” Susan Meyer said.
After CBS 2 contacted Chicago Public School officials, they agreed to provide Edwina bus transportation to a new school.
For other students, there also is help. This year, a new CPS policy allows students to transfer for safety reasons, but applying for a move does not guarantee you will get one. District-wide, 17 students have applied for safety transfers citywide this year, and five were denied.
“The district makes every effort to accommodate all of its students and their individual needs equitably and fairly, and we will review and monitor our internal procedures,” a schools spokesman says.
Click here to review the new policy.