Following an investigation that revealed the abuse of hundreds of Chicago Public Schools students in the last decade, a bilingual hotline was created where parents of students in the city's 14th Ward can report sexual abuse and bullying, city officials announced.
The hotline - (312) 919-2740 - will refer parents to the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center, an organization that coordinates the efforts of child protection services, law enforcement professionals, family advocates, medical experts and mental health clinicians, according to Ald. Ed Burke.
It will be in effect for parents of both Chicago Public Schools and charter schools in the ward.
“Parents are frustrated by the bureaucracy and the lack of action and accountability that they have encountered attempting to report sexual abuse within the public school system,” Burke said in a statement. “This hotline will provide another resource to seek assistance.”
Hundreds of Chicago Public Schools students were sexually abused by district employees over the past decade because of a systemic failure to protect students on multiple levels, the Chicago Tribune found in an investigation released last week.
The Tribune analyzed 523 Chicago police reports from 2008 through 2017 of children being sexually assaulted or abused inside public schools across the city, and reviewed several other elements, including criminal charges and prosecutions, lawsuits filed by victims, CPS investigative reports and more.
Tribune reporters also spoke to several current and former students who reported abuse at the hands of school employees.
In all, the publication found 72 school employees alleged to have violated students, including teachers, counselors, coaches, security guards and more.
The assaults and abuse took place at schools across the entire city, the Tribune reports, with a searchable database to find incidents reported at specific schools.