The Chicago Tribune’s reporting on predatory adults in its “Betrayed” series already has resulted in an overhaul of the Chicago Public Schools’ child-safety programs as well as bipartisan state legislative support for new laws to protect students.
Now, in an examination of student-on-student sexual attacks, the Tribune found that Chicago students also were violated by classmates as employees failed to keep them safe.
Though police records on juvenile suspects are sealed, as are most of the records from juvenile court proceedings, the Tribune was able to detail nearly 40 cases in which students reported being sexually attacked in Chicago schools since 2008. Reporters obtained school files, police reports and court documents; interviewed family members and officials; and successfully petitioned the Cook County juvenile court for permission to view records in more than a dozen delinquency cases. Relatives of both victims and perpetrators provided confidential information, saying they wanted to help spotlight safety breaches and spur change.