By Jackie Kostek

CHICAGO (CBS) — Misconduct between adults and students at Marine Leadership Academy, including two cases in which an adult had a sexual relationship with a student, has led Chicago Public Schools to terminate 10 employees.

“The behavior uncovered by this investigation represents a stunning betrayal of trust, and colossal failure of judgment and character on the part of far too many individuals. Every student deserves to feel safe, protected, and supported in their school; and anything that gets in that way should not be tolerated,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez.

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The action comes after the release of an inspector general report detailing the problems at the school, at 1920 N. Hamlin Ave.

The report found 12 employees and one volunteer were involved in the misconduct, and 10 were terminated or in the process of losing their jobs. The others have been removed from the school.

Read The Report:

The report found inappropriate relationships between staff and students. In one case, a teacher groomed a student and a teacher began a sexual relationship after student graduated. In a second case, another teacher had a sexual relationship with a student. A volunteer “groomed students and crossed the boundaries with others,” Martinez said.

One other teacher sexually harassed a student, and then retaliated against the student. Six others failed to report and active hid information about the misconduct.

CPS declined to disclosed an exact number of students involved, but Martinez said “multiple” students were targets of the volunteer’s grooming. Martinez said the overall number was fewer than a dozen.

The IG began investigating sometime in 2019 after an anonymous report. Martinez said he was made aware of the investigation in October 2021.  The reason for the delay was not immediately clear. The inspector general found incidents of inappropriate behavior began in 2016.

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The report also said on April 4, 2019, the Inspector General gave CPS “stakeholder departments” a list of employees who knew about the abuse and failed to report it. That list included the principal, assistant principal, and head of security. The report further said the Inspector General shared information about a new allegation at the school later that same day, and said it was the third sexual complaint it had received from the school that week.

“Some of these relationships were tolerated or even covered up by other adults who had vowed to protect out children,” Martinez said. “Many of the questions you have were my first questions. When did we pull these individuals? Why am I still paying these individuals? Why haven’t these individuals been arrested? Why haven’t the individuals, even though I started terminating immediately that I could, why couldn’t I get them arrested?”

The report said the IG’s office conducted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at least 22 times since 2019 regarding allegations of misconduct at Marine Leadership Academy. The IG also worked with Chicago Police, but no charges have been filed.

The report also said the IG’s office contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at least 22 times since 2019 regarding allegations of misconduct at Marine Leadership Academy. The IG also worked with Chicago Police, but no charges have been filed.

The IG interviewed 155 students, staffers, and other potential witnesses, and compiled 29,000 pages of documents and 151,000 pages of emails from school staff accounts.

Martinez blames staffing issues and a backlog of cases at the IG’s office for why the investigation took years to complete.

Martinez also said he is limited in what he could do, because of Title IX rules. He plans to work with state lawmakers to close those legal loopholes.

“I am as frustrated. I am angry, just as frustrated. These laws – obviously, these individuals knew these laws,” Martinez said. “That’s why they thought it was OK.”

Because the students were 18 at the time of the relationship, it may be difficult to prosecute criminally, Martinez said. He said the information will be sent to Chicago Police.

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Marine Leadership Academy is affiliated with the United States Marine Corps JROTC program.