A negligence lawsuit was recently filed against Chicago Public Schools over claims the district failed to protect a student from sexual assault.
Chicago Public Schools recently came under fire in a lawsuit alleging the district failed to protect a female student from a sexual assault at Lincoln Park High School back in mid-January. The suit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by an anonymous father on behalf of his daughter, the victim of the alleged assault. According to the negligence suit, the school district “failed to provide adequate security on the premises to protect…against sexual assault and failed to implement policies to prevent the sexual abuse of minors on school property.” The suit is seeking monetary relief of more than $50,000.
The alleged assault occurred shortly after school on January 13 “when a male student, who is an athlete, left his team’s practice and met the girl in an unlocked classroom where she was studying,” according to the suit. The suit alleges “CPS carelessly allowed another student to sexually assault Jane Doe…CPS also failed to adequately investigate past allegations of battery and/or sexual assault by the same male student.”
In addition to the lawsuit, Chicago police confirmed that they are investigating the reported sexual assault. However, because the investigation is still ongoing, charges have yet to be filed. When commenting on the case, Patrick Condron, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff, said, “It’s just another symptom of this school. It’s very upsetting that you can’t drop your kid off at school and expect that your daughter or son is protected. It changes these kids forever.” He added, “The young lady is not doing well at all, it’s really a bad situation. They’ve got to step up and protect these kids, and it’s not happening.”
It’s important to note, however, that the alleged assault is only one among many different allegations against the school and district as a whole. In fact, CPS officials have “released a broad list of misconduct allegations at Lincoln Park.” For example, in early January Pat Gordon, the boys basketball coach, was removed from his position over an “alleged incident on a team trip to Detroit that involved some type of sexual misconduct and social media.” While Gordon was not part of the alleged incident, CPS “questioned whether he knew of the incident, which he has denied.”
The girls basketball coach was also removed from the position after they were accused of sexual misconduct at Lincoln Park. To make matters worse, an administrator who just started working for the district earlier this month on an interim basis “has also already been removed for allegedly grabbing a student by the face, an incident that was caught on camera and is under investigation by CPS.”
When commenting on the long list of allegations against the district and the effort the district has made to remove administrators accused of misconduct, CPS spokesman Michael Passman said:
“Protecting students is our highest priority, which is why it was necessary for the district to take a series of personnel actions at Lincoln Park High School in response to serious allegations of recent adult and student misconduct…While we are unable to comment on pending litigation, we are committed to supporting the Lincoln Park High School community through this challenging time.”