CHICAGO (CBS) — Since 2018, the Chicago Public Schools have been removing teachers from the classroom immediately when sexual abuse allegations surface, but where do those teachers go?
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory has been pressing the district with that question since December, and finally received some surprising answers.
CPS suspended 194 employees in less than two years, following some serious claims by students. At least 105 of those employees are under investigation for incidents involving physical contact or inappropriate conversations. Another 37 workers are accused of something explicitly sexual.
CBS 2 calculated those statistics after combing through suspension records.
Allegations against teachers, specifically, include:
- “making students sit on his lap, and tried to kiss at least one of them”
- “watching pornography on his cell phone during class”
- “grooming – giving student candy and leaving notes in their lockers”
Some employees are immediately sent home while the district investigates, but accused teachers – up until a few months ago – were sent to CPS network offices.
The district currently operates 20 network offices; most are clustered inside office buildings or shuttered schools, but four are in the Wilma Rudolph Learning Center, across the street from Hope Learning Academy elementary school, and four more are inside CPS schools.
Records show a teacher accused of physical and verbal abuse of a student spent at least nine months at the Network 6 office located inside Richard Crane Medical Prep High School.
Another teacher under investigation was told to report to the Network 3 office inside Michele Clark Magnet High School. A deeper dive into his file reveals accusations he “lifted the shirt of one of the students to see progress,” and “takes photographs of students.” He spent at least 7 ½ months at Clark on paid leave.
CPS said all their network offices inside school buildings have a separate entrance, but it takes less than a minute to walk from Clark’s entrance to the Network 3 office.
The district said employees who were temporarily assigned to such locations were closely checked and monitored.
But that’s not necessary anymore. After providing information CBS 2 formally requested for this report, CPS said “out of an abundance of caution, employees under investigation are no longer assigned to networks located on school property.”
So where are they going now? Accused teachers are being paid to sit at home while the district investigates.