Tonya Francisco

Image via WGN9

CHICAGO —   A Chicago mother is suing CPS and her son’s school and claims they knew her son was being sexually abused at school and ignored it.

Angela Wells said she did not know her 10-year-old son, who is a student at Marquette School of Excellence, was being sexual abused at school until he threatened to kill the student who he said was touching him inappropriately.

“He said over the course of a month’s time, the boy had kissed him and felt on his behind and touched his private part,” Wells said.  “He reported it to one of his teachers.”

But Wells claims the teacher did nothing. Wells said a report was never filed.

When it happened again, her son said he told another teacher at who just told him to sit down.

“Most victims of sexual abuse never speak out,” the family’s attorney Kelly Krauchun said.  “And this child had the courage to speak out to two teachers and yet nothing was done still.”

Krauchun has filed a federal lawsuit on Wells’ behalf, suing Chicago Public Schools, the Academy for Urban School Leadership, the non-profit organization that runs the school, and the two teachers to whom the student reported the abuse. Krauchun said in doing her research, she has found what she calls a systemic issue.

“I found numerous other lawsuits out there for similar situations.”

CPS said it cannot comment on pending litigation but it wants the public to know it has created the Office of Student Protections and Title IX to oversee investigations into allegations of student on student abuse.  They also make sure students get the resources and support they need, including counseling.

Still Wells said she frustrated that her son had to threaten to kill someone to get his teacher’s to listen.

“It’s a lot of kids that this is happening to that are not speaking up,” she said. “My son spoke up and nothing happened, so what do we tell the kids that aren’t saying anything? It’s disheartening that the system has become so secretive when things go on and no light has been brought.”

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages but Wells said it’s not about the money, it’s about protecting children.