A mother is filing a lawsuit against the Chicago Public Schools claiming that her son was sexually assaulted.
A Chicago family is challenged in finding resources to help their son, who is now 6, because last year they say sexual abuse by another child turned their happy little boy into a boy who is afraid and is acting out. They say they are taking action to protect their son and other children.
Each school day, staff at Chicago Public Schools supervise thousands of students. Now, a local family questions whether a kindergartener at Wendell Smith Elementary was protected from the sexual abuse of another child last year.
“This case is about holding CPS and the Board of Education for what they should have done which is to protect all of the children involved in this incident,” said Jessica Arbour, attorney for the child.
A federal lawsuit naming Chicago Public Schools alleges the 5-year-old’s rights were violated when another 5-year-old forced him to engage in sexual acts in a school bathroom, and that Smith school administrators did not take appropriate action after an initial complaint. As a result, the boy was allegedly victimized two more times.
“I have been broken since this happened. I put on a smile but I’m broken,” said the boy’s parent, who spoke to ABC7 under the condition of maintaining anonymity. “I’m doing this to make parents more aware of what can happen to their child and to hold people accountable for leaving my child unattended.”
Chicago Public Schools issued a statement that said: “Chicago Public Schools’ top priority is the safety and well-being of our students. We have not yet reviewed this lawsuit and do not comment on pending litigation.”
The boy’s family said he eventually shared more details and he needs professional support to fully address this issue.
“He asked, ‘If I’m a bad child, do you still love me?’ I said, ‘Yes I do. I love my baby.’ I just want to protect him,” the boy’s parent said.
The boy’s attorney says DCFS was not called about the situation until the end of the school year last year. DCFS said that the agency has no comment due to pending litigation.
Illinois does require any school personnel to report allegations or indications of abuse.