We strongly urge anyone who is aware of incidents of sexual misconduct to call the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The 24-hour hotline is: 800-25-ABUSE, or 800-252-2873.
2019 Hickey Follow Up Report:
“In the year since we issued our Preliminary Report, CPS has vastly improved its overall infrastructure for addressing sexual misconduct. CPS implemented many of the recommendations from our Preliminary Report and made significant progress toward protecting its students from sexual misconduct.”
In a follow-up report released in October of 2019, former Assistant United States Attorney and Illinois Executive Inspector General Maggie Hickey noted that, “CPS has vastly improved its overall infrastructure for addressing sexual misconduct,” and that our district has implemented many of the recommendations outlined in her preliminary report.
- Creating the CPS Office of Student Protections and Title IX to coordinate our district’s response to allegations of discrimination, harassment, and abuse and to provide students with the supports they need to heal.
- Establishing the Protecting Chicago’s Children (PCC) Taskforce to provide structure and accountability for our efforts to protect children from sexual misconduct.
- Improving our centralized background check process to ensure all adults who come in contact with our students have completed a detailed background check and committing to re-checking backgrounds on a rolling basis.
- Providing all CPS staff with annual, mandatory training on the role they play in protecting Chicago’s children and creating awareness campaigns to ensure students understand the signs of abuse and the resources that are available to them.
- Transferring the responsibility of investigating allegations of sexual misconduct of CPS-affiliated adults to the Office of the Inspector General, and transferring the responsibility of investigating all other student harm cases to the Office of Student Protections and Title IX to ensure that allegations of sexual misconduct are investigated in a manner that eliminates any perceived conflict of interest. All adults accused of abuse are immediately removed from schools pending the completion of an investigation, and our Title IX Officer takes actions to support and protect students based on investigative findings.
While our district has implemented meaningful improvements, we have more work ahead. Ms. Hickey has provided additional recommendations that are logical next steps and are already underway.
These recommendations include:
- Providing specialized training for our Special Education Classroom Assistants (SECAs) on maintaining appropriate boundaries when working with students with disabilities,
- Adapting our Sexual Health Education curriculum for students with diverse learning needs, and
- Creating an easily searchable information hub for CPS policies and procedures.
Our goal is to create a safe and supportive school district that is free of sexual misconduct. The district has already begun investing time and resources to continue this work, and we will continue to provide additional updates.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-252-2873
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Mandated Reporter Training and other resources:
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Internet Safety Program
- Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline: 1-888-293-2080
CPS Policy on the Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect, and Inappropriate Relations between Adults and Students
Guidelines Regarding Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Boundaries