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Lawsuit: Former Chicago Public Schools Administrator Abused Student for Years, Teachers Failed to Take Action

— April 11, 2024

An attorney for the pseudonymous plaintiff indicated that the non-consensual relationship between a school dean and student was common knowledge among certain employees–and largely ignored by teachers, at least one of whom failed to take action after being informed of the alleged abuse.

A former Chicago Public Schools student has filed a lawsuit against the district, claiming that she was repeatedly abused by an administrator at Little Village Lawndale High School in West Side Chicago.

According to The Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of the woman, who is referred to in court documents only by the pseudonym ‘Jane Doe.’

In her complaint, Doe claims that she was abused by former Dean of Students Brian Crowder, with the alleged abuse beginning in 2013—when Doe was 15 years old—and ending some time in 2016. During that time, Crowder’s purported assaults resulted in two pregnancies and several “coerced” abortions.

“I didn’t really live my high school years how I thought I would, how I pictured them before going into high school,” said Doe, who is now 25. “I was just so focused on what we had going on and my pain and just started doing that. I was going through it by myself because I couldn’t go to anybody but him.”

Martin Gould, an attorney representing the woman, indicated that teachers at Little Village Lawndale High School knew—or should have known—that Doe was being abused.

A school bus. Image via LibreShot. Listed as public domain on LibreShot’s Turkish-language website.

“Our client was failed twice,” Gould said. “She was abused by a dean, who was charged with disciplining students and keeping students safe at that school, but she was also failed by a teacher who knew the abuse and failed to report it.”

The lawsuit suggests that Crowder began grooming Doe in or shortly before 2015, when he asked her to share her Snapchat account name. After a brief period of messaging, Crowder and Doe met in-person and initiated a years-long sexual relationship—a relationship to which Doe, a a minor under Crowder’s authority, could not have consented.

Although Doe said that she eventually alerted an educator to the alleged abuse, the teacher never filed a report, as required under local law.

Other employees, too, seem to have suspected that Crowder was acting inappropriately—with workers commenting on how much time Doe spent in the administrator’s office and regularly joking amongst themselves about the pair’s apparent romantic relationship.

Speaking to the Tribune, Gould said that he hopes the lawsuit will serve to remind educators of their need to protect children from abuse and sexual assault.

“Every teacher must understand the consequences if they do not report abuse,” Gould said. “And every single teacher, administrator, principal, coach who doesn’t report abuse must face consequences.”


CPS facing sex assault lawsuit from former student, who claims Lawndale High dean raped, groomed her

Former CPS student files lawsuit alleging sexual assault, coerced abortions by high school administrator

Lawsuit accuses Illinois suburban trustee of sexual assault, suburban mayor of retaliation

Lawsuit filed against CPS alleging pattern of neglect in continued sexual abuse of 15-year-old student

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