Sandoval BudgetCHICAGO – Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) has called for an audit of the Chicago Public School system and a more forceful response to sexual misconduct allegations after the district’s CEO skipped a meeting addressing the matter this week.

The meeting was called in response to a Chicago Tribune investigation which found 72 Chicago Public Schools employees were accused of misconduct over a 10-year period and not properly reported to authorities. Several went on to commit abuses at Chicago Public Schools and many were hired again elsewhere even after being investigated.

“When the second largest school district in the nation fails at protecting its students, it falls on the shoulders of the CEO,” Sandoval said. “The fact that Janice Jackson skipped this meeting is proof that the district still doesn’t understand the depths of this failure.”

CPS was represented by a safety administrator, deputy general counsel and a personnel official at the meeting. Those representatives discussed a vague plan for moving forward and pledged to work with the Children’s Advocacy Center. Legislation has also been filed in the Senate to address the shortcomings of current law.

“It’s fine to be solution-focused and to put proper protocols in place going forward. It’s a conversation we must have,” Sandoval said. “But we are discussing this at the state level because of a failure of Chicago Public Schools, and the CEO didn’t even have the decency to attend the meeting.”

Sandoval said the absence of top officials was even more appalling in light of the testimony of two brave victims at the hearing.

“I was pulled from class to sit alone in a room with an old man who asked not how I felt or what they could do to make me feel safe in my school again, but what I was wearing when I had been assaulted,” said survivor Morgan Aranda, now 22. “Do you know what it’s like to be made to feel like a criminal when you are in fact the victim?”

Testimony showed victims were interrogated without parents present and they were kept in the dark about the status of their investigations. The Chicago Police Department was not notified by CPS administrators in either case.

“Students were wronged by the people that were supposed to protect them, and they were never given justice,” Sandoval said. “That continued yesterday when the top-ranking authorities in the city deemed this hearing unimportant enough for them to skip.”

Sandoval said he is encouraged that his Senate colleagues plan to host continued hearings to discuss the matter.

“We need to pinpoint these failures, give victims their right to redress and rebuild the integrity of the Chicago Public Schools system,” Sandoval said. “Hopefully Janice Jackson will find the time to attend.”

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

District Office:
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Cicero, IL 60804