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Board of Education

CITY OF CHICAGO
Office of the Board
1 North Dearborn Street, Suite 950, Chicago, Illinois 60602
Telephone (773) 553-1600 Fax (773) 553-3453
FRANK M. CLARK JAIME GUZMAN
PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT

MEMBERS
MARK F. FURLONG
ALEJANDRA GARZA
DR. MAHALIA A. HINES
GAIL D. WARD

June 12, 2018

Nicholas Schuler, Inspector General


Board of Education of the City of Chicago
567 West Lake Street, Suite 1120
Chicago, Illinois 60661

Dear Mr. Schuler:

I appreciate the productive conversations we’ve had concerning how the Office of the Inspector General
(OIG) can play a larger role in investigating sexual abuse allegations involving Chicago Public School (CPS)
students and CPS employees, vendors, or volunteers.

Nothing is more important to the Board than keeping our students safe and ensuring that anyone who
doesn’t live up to their responsibilities is held accountable for their actions.

As we’ve discussed, CPS has made vital improvements over the past several years to ensure that staff,
volunteers and vendors meet a rigorous standard of moral conduct – standards that go above the
requirements of the Illinois School Code. Among these, in 2014, CPS began requiring coaches and other
volunteers who are regularly in schools be fingerprinted. In 2016, we began to check all prospective and
current employees with the Department of Children and Family Services for findings of child abuse or
neglect. In 2017, we required charters to make sure their employees’ background checks would be as
rigorous as ours – a move that we made in partnership with the OIG.

In addition, this past winter, we began developing a policy to require prompt reporting of any grooming
behaviors by adults. We believe quick intervention at this stage can prevent the monstrous act of an
adult taking advantage of a child. The Board expects to vote on this policy at our meeting in two weeks.

However, we firmly believe more can and must be done to better protect our students. In this spirit of
continual improvement, we are grateful that the Chicago Tribune helped connect the dots to many of
these stories, because while some of these incidents may have faded from the public’s consciousness,
and others were told for the first time, the pain didn’t fade away for the victims.

The Office of the Inspector General has a critical role to play in evaluating how cases have been handled,
both in looking at the cases the Tribune highlighted, as well as other instances that happened decades
ago. To that end, in response to your letter, I intend to present a resolution at the June 2018 Board
Meeting that will specifically empower and transfer this work to the OIG to investigate reports of sexual
misconduct by employees, vendors, or volunteers where a CPS student may be the victim. The
resolution will require monthly reporting to the Board, including the number of claims under
investigation, the employees/schools involved, the nature of the allegations, and the status of any
involved employee.

I am also tasking the OIG with undertaking a review of sexual misconduct cases going back to at least
2000, and further as warranted by your office, to determine if additional actions are required and
appropriate corrective action was taken. The Board and Dr. Janice Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, are
committed to providing the appropriate resources for you to be successful with these new
responsibilities, and a 60 day transition.

In order to achieve our goal of making CPS students and school communities safer, the OIG’s proposed
new role must complement the work currently performed by CPS staff at Central Office and in our
schools. Accordingly, this work will require extensive cooperation between the staffs of the OIG, the
Law Department, Safety & Security, Talent and the Chief Education Office. Dr. Janice Jackson, the Chief
Executive Officer, and Joseph Moriarty, the General Counsel, are committed to ensuring a smooth
transition of this work to the OIG. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Maggie Hickey, our Independent
Evaluator, is reviewing the district’s policies, procedures and practices to ensure this structure
effectively supports students.

On behalf of the Board, we look forward to working with the OIG on this critical matter.

Sincerely,

Frank M. Clark
President
Chicago Board of Education