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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Benito Juarez Staffer Removed After Allegedly Engaging ‘Inappropriately’ With Former Student

A decision on whether the staff member can return to school will be made following an investigation, Principal Juan Carlos Ocón said.

Lizzie Schiffman/ DNAinfo
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PILSEN —  A staff member at Benito Juarez Community Academy in Pilsen has been removed following allegations of inappropriate behavior, according to a letter sent to parents.

On Thursday, parents and students were notified about an allegation that a staff member “engaged inappropriately with a former student” at the Chicago public high school, 1450 W. Cermak Road.

“This employee has been removed from the school, and an investigation has been initiated by the Office of the Inspector General,” Benito Juarez Principal Juan Carlos Ocón told parents in a letter.

A final determination on whether the staff member is allowed to return to school will be made following the investigation, Ocon said.

Ocon said the school and district were taking the situation seriously and were committed to providing students with a safe, positive learning environment. He said he was unable to discuss details while the investigation is ongoing.

“Our top priority is continuing to support our families and ensuring the safety of every member of our school community, particularly during this challenging time,” Ocon said. 

In an email, the principal deferred questions to Chicago Public Schools. Chicago Public Schools did not answer questions regarding the allegation.

“Our letter serves as our response,” Emily Bolton, a CPS spokeswoman said in an email Friday morning.

In the fall, a Benito Jaurez teacher was removed from campus after he pulled down his pants and exposed his groin and thigh area to a 16-year-old on July 1, 2018, according to a Sun-Times report.

In 2018, the Tribune detailed hundreds of cases of sexual abuse and rape at CPS schools over the last 10 years. The report highlighted failures by the district to protect its own students from sexual abuse and misconduct.

Following the bombshell report, CPS CEO Janice Jackson said on “Chicago Tonight” that the district took the issues seriously.

“There’s a lot that has been done, but my test is that if there’s one case, that’s one case too many, and so there’s opportunities for us to do a better job,” Jackson said.”

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