Students demand action following sexual misconduct allegations at Benito Juarez

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Victims of sexual assault spoke out Wednesday night, demanding that Chicago Public Schools make immediate changes when victims report sexual misconduct. 

Emotions ran high at Benito Juarez Community Academy, where students, teachers and community members met to learn more about numerous allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct.

A CPS local school council (LSC) member named Glenda, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, said she is disgusted by the school’s response.

“After five allegations have come up since 2019 — five — some of these LSC members, you have said nothing,” she said.

The sexual assault survivor accused the school’s principal and other LSC members of staying silent, says those allegations are against staff members at the school. 

She adds that the first allegation she heard as an LSC member was in Sept. 2019. 

“CPS says one is too many and Juarez has had more than one over the last five years,” said a woman who did not wish to be identified.

The woman told WGN that she was punished and ridiculed after speaking up about sexual assault on two occasions. She said a change of culture is needed.

“I can only imagine how our students feel when they have to report these incidents to staff members and they don’t listen,” she said.

Another teen girl, who did not wish to be identified, said that while she does not attend Benito Juarez Community Academy, she suffered abuse during her sophomore year. 

After speaking up about her abuse, she said her school provided minimal comfort.

“It’s really important to speak up about this because it’s disgusting knowing there are more schools doing this,” she said.

Freshman Josajandy Alonso said the allegations levied at the school council are alarming.

“I didn’t know this was happening and if I did, I would have chosen another school instead of this high school,” Alonso said.

WGN News reached out to CPS for comment regarding allegations of sexual misconduct. CPS did not immediately return our requests.

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