CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of students in south suburban Matteson walked out of school on Monday, to protest the hiring of former principal Cedric Nolen, who had been placed on the “do not hire” list at the Chicago Public Schools due to allegations of sexual misconduct.
Students at Colin Powell Middle school said they don’t trust their school board’s judgment.
Nolen resigned as principal of Colin Powell Middle School last week, and students in Matteson said he shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.
He had resigned from his previous job in April as principal of Parkside Elementary School, amid a CPS Office of Inspector General investigation of sexual misconduct. He had been on paid suspension since early January, after being accused of sexual misconduct with a staff member.
In May, an OIG report recommended Nolen be placed on the CPS “do not hire” list, noting “evidence supports a finding of sexual misconduct.”
The inspector general’s report said evidence of inappropriate texts and videos were found.
Nolen later was hired by Matteson Elementary School District 159 to become principal at Colin Powell Middle School, and the district has said it didn’t learn until September – several weeks into the school year – about the sexual misconduct findings at CPS.
However, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Emily Bolton said District 159 only requested CPS confirm Nolen’s dates of employment, and never requested a reference check for Nolen.
“Other school districts routinely contact CPS as part of reference checks, and we provide them information about substantiated misconduct. In this instance, no such request was made,” Bolton stated in an email.
Sources said CPS reached out to Alfred after learning Nolen had been hired, to express concerns about his employment as a principal at District 159 in the wake of the OIG findings.
Students at Colin Powell Middle School plan a walkout at 7:30 a.m. Monday to protest the district’s handling of the situation.