CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the victims of the Chicago Public Schools sex abuse scandal is sharing her story.
For years, CPS failed to protect abused students in more than 100 cases.
As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports one young woman’s story is one of confusion and fear.
Morgan Aranda says she would have major anxiety and panic attacks every time she had to go to her history class at Walter Payton High School.
“I was having a panic attack every time I had to go to his class,” she stated. “Like hanging out in the bathroom, trying to figure out if I could make myself throw up so I wouldn’t have to go to class.”
Aranda says she was a freshman in 2010 when she became a victim of sexual abuse. The first time was when students were handing out Christmas gifts to teachers.
“It was home room. There were kids in the room. I handed it to him and he’s like ‘thanks’ and kissed me,” Aranda recalled.
While she didn’t like it, Aranda says she did not report the first incident, but the second one was too much.
She had gone to his empty classroom to discuss a project.
“I was in the middle of talking and he reached over and put his hands on my leg,” Aranda said.
Aranda says she complained after he touched her leg, but says she felt like administrators did not believe her. Some teachers were angry she made a report against a popular teacher.
She said, “For a while, I just really checked out. I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t care about my studies.”
Aranda says the history teacher was eventually fired from CPS. She now attends Ohio State University, where she’s majoring in floral design.
Despite her experience, she says she encourages victims to speak out, but thinks CPS needs to make sure someone is listening.
“I don’t think there’s enough conversation about what steps you can take and who you can talk to when this sort of thing happens to you, especially at school because school’s a safe haven, or at least it should be,” Aranda said.
CPS officials say they have hired Attorney Maggie Hickey, the former Illinois Executive Inspector General, to conduct a thorough review of the district’s response to sexual violence.