ABC 7 Chicago has reported that an investigation on sexual misconduct has led to multiple staff members being removed from the Marine Leadership Academy in Logan Square at 1920 N Hamlin Ave, Chicago, IL 60647.
An anonymous tip in 2019 stemmed an investigation into the military academy. Allegations included both staff members and teachers engaging in sexual relationships and abuse, sexual harassment, and grooming minors for future relationships. Chicago Public Schools removed 12 of the accused staff members, including teachers, along with a volunteer that is said to have been involved in the abuse or know of and ignored the violations. As of Tuesday, November 23, 2021, another staff member was removed due to new evidence from the investigation. Of the removed, ten are in the process of being terminated.
The investigation also reported that some of the administration was aware of the misconduct, including the former principal. The principal was said to have even been promoted while knowing about the rampant abuse. She has recently been removed and fired from her position. The school district has stated that they were only made aware of these allegations last month despite the tip being made in 2019. They reported that the lack of staff and a backlog of cases were to blame.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced school sexual abuse lawyer. He represents sexually abused victims and their families in civil lawsuits involving negligence. Recently, Brian discussed the requirements that could allow a victim sexually abused at a school to file a lawsuit against a negligent school.
"Sexual predators too often are finding their way into schools to gain positions of trust. This has created widespread reports of teachers and coaches being accused of sexually abusing students in schools across the country. It is crucial that these victims are aware of their legal rights in both criminal and civil courts. In addition to reporting the school employee to law enforcement instigating a criminal investigation, some victims may also have sufficient grounds to file a civil suit."
"Schools have an obligation, by law, to provide safety to their student body. This includes all forms of misconduct, such as sexual abuse, harassment, and inappropriate relationships with staff and students. Schools are mandated to take certain steps to prevent this type of abuse. Additionally, they are required to report and follow up on any incidents to avoid further abuse from taking place."
"In cases involving negligence, such as a school's failure to run background checks or properly report misconduct, victims may be able to sue the school. However, state laws may include a statute of limitations that can affect whether a victim can file a lawsuit after a period of time. These cases may become complicated. Therefore it is best to consult with an experienced school sex abuse lawyer to learn more about the legal options available."