Continuing Series: What does it take to fire a teacher?

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Chicago Public Schools being investigated for hundreds of abuse claims

An investigation by a local Chicago TV station has unveiled hundreds of reports of child abuse in Windy City schools over the past six years, mostly leading to little or no action taken by the school system. According to the CBS 2 investigation, there have been 818 students who have filed claims in which they allege being battered by teachers, aides, coaches, administrators or security guards. School system investigators substantiated 568 of those claims but in only 10 percent of the cases has anyone been fired or forced to resign.

What does it take to get fired in Chicago? Apparently, "battering students for several years" and "100 licks with a belt," according to district documents, is not enough. The investigation also revealed reports of teachers committing the following: beating a student with a broomstick, striking a student with staplers, choking a student, pushing a student down the stairs, and paddling a volleyball player for missing a serve. In addition to a whole lot of tolerance for abuse, investigators generally take months to investigate a case.

In response, new Chicago schools CEO Ron Huberman has ordered a high level review of five years' worth of cases.

In our continuing coverage of Portillo vs. St. Lucie County, Florida, (click here) no new developments. As promised, we're tracking this story month to month, even when there aren't any new developments. In our view, that's a large part of the problem.