Jillian Rose Bernas demands more accountability for school officials in the wake of a Chicago-Tribune report that found approximately 40 cases of sexual abuse among students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system.
Bernas, who is running as the Republican candidate for the 56th House District, believes school officials and lawmakers failed the students and taxpayers of Illinois because the abuse was overlooked for at least a decade.
“Victims should not have to wait that long for officials to act,” Bernas told the North Cook News. “The general assembly voted to send hundreds of millions of dollars to CPS, money diverted away from our local schools. These dollars should be going to students, (but) instead it is going to pay for administrators who failed to keep children safe and report cases of sexual assault to the authorities.”
The abuse ranged from groping to rape, affecting victims from “top athletes and honor-roll students, children struggling to read and teenagers seeking guidance,” the report states.
While many of those cases documented sexual misconduct at the hands of adult school employees, a second installment also uncovered 40 cases where both the abuser and the victim were special-needs students.