Chicago kids report teacher abuse

Hundreds of students charge they’ve been beaten by teachers, coaches and staff at Chicago public schools, reports CBS 2. Although 568 complaints were verified from 2003-08, only 24 teachers lost their jobs, reports Dave Savini.

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.

“If someone hits a student, they are going to be fired. It’s very, very simple,” said Arne Duncan, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools and now U.S. Secretary of Education.

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.

However, the 568 verified abuse cases lead to warnings,  not termination, in all but a few cases.

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.

That “100 licks” seems incredible. I can’t imagine anyone hitting a kid that much — or doing it and not being charged with a crime.

This happened on Duncan’s watch, notes Rhymes with Right.

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Comments

  1. Alex Bensky says:

    Although I certainly hope anyone found to have done this sort of thing is bounced out in a way that ensures never teaching children again, I hope this won’t turn into a replay of the child abuse cases in Massachusetts and elsewhere. It is not beyond probability that a certain number of the allegations are intended not to reveal truth but to make life difficult for strict teachers or those who are not well-liked as opposed to being vicious or not competent.

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    Reading “The Crucible” ought to be required in high school.

    That being said, and this being Chicago, is this surprising?

    That being said, and Obama being president, is his choice for SecEd surprising?

  3. Any teacher convicted of hitting a kid should be fired. I don’t hit my kid, I wouldn’t hit anyone else’s, and I think adults who hit children belong in prison, where they can meet like-minded individuals who share their interests.

  4. How is striking a child any different than striking an adult? In my book it should be considered an even more severe crime

  5. Andy Freeman says:

    > How is striking a child any different than striking an adult? In my book it should be considered an even more severe crime.

    That’s nice, but I wonder if MiT thinks that these teachers should be dismissed?

    In the past, he’s been unwilling to come up with a single reason that would justify shutting down a public school. (He’s got lots of reasons that justify shutting private schools, but is unwilling to apply them to public schools.)

    Does MiT think that hitting a kid under some circumstance is a sufficient reason to dismiss a public school teacher? Are there others? What kind of process should occur before said dismissal? (If the process pretty much guarantees that dismissals don’t occur….)

  6. BS, Andy, I’ve never advocated the beating of children as you seem to imply. What I think is these teachers should have been arrested IF the allegations are true.

    This is the kind of crap you get when a politician and not an educator is in charge. If Illinois laws are anything like Texas law, an educator would have been REQUIRED to report the abuse. Since Arne isn’t an educator,no requirement. His reward? Sec. of Education.

  7. Mike–there is no magic dust sprinkled in education schools–nor any automatically garnered through long years in the classroom. And there’s a long line of folks required to report abuse before the knowledge ever rises to the level of Arne Duncan. But, every incident of kid hitting does not constitute abuse–if a kid hit a kid–well, that’s not abuse. If an adult neighbor hit your kid, well the Child Protective folks would probably tell you to call the police, who would give you the number of civil court where you could file charges if you chose. Protective Services works pretty much with intra-familial abuse–and their powers are pretty much limited to removing kids from the abusive situation. All of which is just to say that mandated reporting (or not) doesn’t seem to be the issue here. I hear Duncan’s words to be saying that the policy and practice of CPS is that teachers are held to a higher standard–no one hits kids and keeps their job.

    From the articles, I don’t get much clarity with regard to why teachers who have hit kids are still teaching. I am not clear who has done the investigation (although it seems to be the district), or if there is any ongoing process in the case of any of the teachers still teaching. But, I would just suggest that the long history of educators in administration is not one that suggests a willingness to deal severaly with other educators caught in a variety of compromising situations. The term “passing the trash,” originated in education after all.

  8. Continuing: one possibility is that said teachers have been reported to state licensing. If they lose their licenses, they can no longer teach. Might be a faster route than going through required due process at the local level–just suggesting.

  9. 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.

    This is abuse, plain and simple, and Arne was in charge. The big bucks come with responsiblity, Arne took the bucks but now you don’t want him to take the blame.

  10. Andy Freeman says:

    > BS, Andy, I’ve never advocated the beating of children as you seem to imply.

    Huh? I didn’t imply that MiT advocated beating children.

    Instead, I asked whether beating children justified dismissing a public school teacher. Yes, I am assuming that he thinks that private school teachers who beat children should be dismissed, but he’s welcome to correct me if I’m wrong on that.

    I’ll repeat.

    Does MiT think that hitting a kid under some circumstance is a sufficient reason to dismiss a public school teacher? Are there others? What kind of process should occur before said dismissal? (If the process pretty much guarantees that dismissals don’t occur….)

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