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Chicago, IL - Former Student Claims CPS Ignored Years of Sexual Abuse by Little Village Lawndale High School Dean of Students Brian Crowder

Chicago, IL - Former Student Claims CPS Ignored Years of Sexual Abuse by Little Village Lawndale High School Dean of Students Brian Crowder
Published: April 12, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on April 12, 2024

Former Student Files Lawsuit Against CPS Alleging Sexual Abuse by School Dean

WGN9 reported that a former student of Little Village Lawndale High School (LVLHS), located at 3120 S Kostner Ave, Chicago, IL 60623, has filed a lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools (CPS) on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, accusing the school of negligence in addressing her alleged sexual abuse by the school's former Dean of Students, Brian Crowder.

The lawsuit claims that the former 15-year-old female student was subjected to repeated sexual abuse by Crowder, resulting in two pregnancies and subsequent abortions. To bypass Illinois state law, the lawsuit alleges that Crowder posed as the student's stepfather and signed consent forms for the abortions using a false name.

Although Crowder was charged with sexual assault in 2022, the lawsuit targets the school and CPS, asserting that they failed to take appropriate action to protect the students. According to the lawsuit, the student reported the abuse to a teacher, who, by law, is required to report any sexual abuse committed by a CPS employee, but no action was taken.

Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that school employees made inappropriate comments about the student's relationship with Crowder, even as she endured years of sexual abuse. The disturbing revelations have raised serious questions about the school's handling of the situation and its commitment to student safety.

In response to the lawsuit, CPS issued a statement emphasizing their dedication to student safety. They asserted that they take their responsibility seriously and follow district policies and procedures when responding to such issues. However, CPS declined to comment on ongoing investigations or litigation.

CPS has a policy in place to remove employees during an investigation if there is a perceived threat to student and/or staff safety or if the educational process is significantly disrupted. In 2018, CPS established the Office of Student Protections and Title IX (OSP) to enhance reporting mechanisms for incidents of sexual misconduct and strengthen the support provided to all parties involved in such cases.

Crowder was removed from his position at LVLHS in September 2021, and an investigation was initiated by the Illinois Office of the Inspector General (OIG) into the allegations against him. Subsequently, Crowder resigned from his position and is currently ineligible for rehire with CPS while the OIG's investigation is underway.

The lawsuit comes in the wake of the Chicago Tribune's 2018 "Betrayed" Investigative Series, which revealed alarming cases of sexual abuse involving 72 CPS employees, including teachers, counselors, coaches, and security guards. This number of cases highlights a disturbing pattern of abuse, further emphasizing the need for accountability and action to protect students from such heinous acts.

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Understanding How to Hold Negligent Schools Accountable for Sexual Abuse

In this interview, we sat down for a conversation with Guy D'Andrea, an experienced Illinois sex abuse lawyer, to explore the legal rights available to victims of sexual abuse by a high school dean and the means to hold negligent schools accountable. The discussion covered the significance of seeking legal support for survivors and advocating for justice.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for joining us, Brian. In cases like the recent lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools, what legal rights are available for individuals who have been sexually abused by a high school dean or principal?

Guy D'Andrea, Esq. (BK): Thank you, Darla. It's a pleasure to be here. When it comes to cases of sexual abuse by school personnel, victims have legal avenues to pursue justice. They can file civil lawsuits against the responsible parties, such as the school district and the individuals involved, seeking compensation for the harm they have suffered. It's important for victims to understand that they have rights and that they should not hesitate to seek legal support.

DM: How can victims hold negligent schools accountable for their failure to protect students from sexual abuse?

BK: Holding negligent schools accountable requires a comprehensive approach. First and foremost, victims should consult with an attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. The attorney will guide them through the legal process, helping them gather evidence, navigate the complexities of the law, and build a strong case. In these situations, it's also essential to shine a light on the school's systemic failures and bring attention to the need for improved safety measures.

DM: Thank you for highlighting the importance of seeking legal guidance. What steps can schools take to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place?

BK: Schools play a vital role in safeguarding their students, and there are measures they can take to prevent sexual abuse. Implementing comprehensive policies and protocols for reporting and addressing allegations of abuse is a crucial step. Schools should also provide regular training to their staff on recognizing signs of abuse and responding appropriately. It's essential to create a safe and supportive environment where students feel comfortable reporting any misconduct.

DM: Thank you for sharing. Is there anything else you would like to add?

BK: I would like to emphasize that victims of sexual abuse should never suffer in silence. They have legal rights, and by seeking justice, they not only hold the responsible parties accountable but also empower themselves on their path to healing. If anyone needs assistance or has questions, they should reach out to a qualified attorney who can provide the necessary guidance and support.

DM: Thank you, we appreciate your time and knowledge.

BK: My pleasure, Darla. Thank you for having me.

Free Consultation for Sexual Abuse Victims and Their Families - Contact Us Today

If you or your loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse by a high school dean or experienced negligence by a school in addressing such incidents, we are here to help. Our experienced team understands the complexities of these cases and is dedicated to advocating for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation, where we can provide guidance, support, and discuss the legal options available to you. Remember, you are not alone, and we are committed to helping you seek justice and healing.

Sources:

WGN9

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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: darla@eaglepeakmarketing.com This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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