I don’t see any other way to interpret the fact that widespread physical abuse of students by faculty and staff went unreported to police and led to termination in only under 5% of documented cases while Arne Duncan ran the Chicago Public Schools.
Hundreds of students have allegedly been beaten by teachers, coaches and staff at Chicago Public Schools. 2 Investigator Dave Savini continues his ongoing investigation involving the illegal use corporal punishment.
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The 2 Investigators found reports of students beaten with broomsticks, whipped with belts, yard sticks, struck with staplers, choked, stomped on and pushed down stairs. One substitute teacher even fractured a student's neck.
But even more alarming, in the vast majority of cases, teachers found guilty were only given a slap on the wrist.
CBS 2 informed former Chicago Public School CEO Arne Duncan of our investigative findings shortly before he was promoted to U.S. Secretary of Education.
"If someone hits a student, they are going to be fired. It's very, very simple," Duncan said.
Before heading to Washington, he vowed to take action.
"Any founded allegation where an adult is hitting a child, hitting a student - they're going to be gone," Duncan said.
But that's not what happened under Duncan's watch. Of the 568 verified cases, only 24 led to termination. Records show one teacher who quote "battered students for several years" was simply given a "warning" by the Board of Education.
And another student was given "100 licks with a belt." The abuse was substantiated, but the records show the teacher was not terminated.
Now I don’t have a problem with corporal punishment in schools – but it has to have proper limits and oversight. That clearly did not happen in Chicago under Arne Duncan – the man whose management and reform model is seen by Barack Obama as being just what is needed in nationwide. Most of the cases in which abuse was documented led to nothing more than a metaphorical slap on the wrist after teachers assaulted students. Not only that, but it appears that the district was remiss in failing to report these cases of child abuse (much less the mere accusations that the district decided were not credible) to the proper authorities for investigation and criminal prosecution
Now I cannot help but note that the Chicago media was all over reports that priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago sexually abused children and that they were allowed to continue serving in active ministry, usually after some sort of rehabilitation program rather than reporting them to Child Protective Services and the local police. There was lots of deeply concerned hand-wringing in the press over the “betrayal of the children by those who had a responsibility to protect them.” Will we get the same sort of rhetoric from the media over these incidents and the failure of the district to safeguard kids? Will there be the same outrage over the failure to call CPS and/or the police when a child has been abused – something that is mandated of school district employees under Illinois law? And what of Arne Duncan? Will he be the next Obama appointee – and first confirmee – to fall victim to their own scandalous illegal conduct that was not fully vetted by the Obama team?