A new Chicago public schools office created to investigate cases of student-on-student sexual violence has fielded more than 600 allegations so far this school year.
That figure came as top district officials defended and reviewed the district’s response to sexual-abuse allegations after the Chicago Tribune exposed broad failures in an investigation this year. District leaders say they have changed background-check procedures and policies on abuse reporting and the sexual grooming of students, as well as created the office devoted to investigating student-on-student assault, supporting student victims, and training staff on their child-protection duties.
Most of the 624 misconduct cases that came in to the office between Sept. 4 and Nov. 26 involved student-on-student allegations. But 133 were allegations of misconduct by adults, with roughly half of those adult-related cases involving people who do not work for the district. Adult-related complaints must be forwarded to the district’s inspector general.
A version of this article appeared in the December 12, 2018 edition of Education Week as New Student-Protection Office Logs 600-Plus Complaints in Chicago