RYH Statement from the June 2018 BOE: CPS sex abuse

Jennie Biggs, CPS parent and RYH Communications Director, spoke on behalf of RYH at the unelected BOE meeting on June 27, 2018. You can read our statement below. 


Last week, I attended the joint hearing on sexual abuse at CPS.


It was revolting on so many levels, but one thing we learned is that the CPS General Counsel reports directly to the School Board President.


This means that President Clark and his predecessors were briefed on rampant reports of sexual abuse in our schools over time and did NOT act to ensure this situation was better managed, and did NOT demand that procedures and policies were implemented beyond very basic and clearly insufficient mandated reporter trainings.


From the hearing and the Trib report, we also learned that CPS lawyers routinely questioned students without a parent or adult present, sometimes repeatedly.  We learned this does NOT follow IL law because CPS should NOT be questioning victims, period.  


The CPS legal department handled over 400 cases of sexual abuse or assault incidents in the school setting over the last 7 years. We want to know how is it possible that the Board never recognized that more needed to be done to ensure proper training at schools, and why did you not employ network staff to ensure compliance in this area?


We knew that appointed boards have an inherent conflict in that you end up working to preserve and protect the image of the person who appointed you above and beyond all else.


We do not know how much Frank Clark or David Vitale or those before shared with respective board members, but we do know that they knew and did nothing.


Sure, some individual teachers, principals and staff are also complicit.


BUT YOU hold the keys to district policy making, and YOU did not act, YOU did not do your jobs, YOU did not ensure schools were being trained, and you should step down and admit that you are part of a flawed system of school governance that has no checks and balances.


And as to the comment that it’s inappropriate to politicize this, we call nonsense on that… The Board president is a political appointment by the Mayor. The same board that thinks it’s okay for the CEO to do radio and TV ads for the mayor 8 months before the election, failed to do anything to put systems in place on this.



Photo courtesy of Generation All via Twitter.

Sun-Times: CPS launching new department to respond to sex abuse allegations

Read other RYH statements from the unelected BOE meeting here. Read about the Sing-Along with the Elected School Board Bill, march to CPS, and parent press conference (all of this happened before the BOE meeting!) here