13 adults at CPS school accused of sexual misconduct or covering it upNader Issaon November 19, 2021 at 4:24 pm

Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said Friday there was a “culture of behavior” at Marine Leadership Academy that is “not tolerated by our district.”

The Chicago Public Schools inspector general has substantiated allegations against 13 adults at the Marine Leadership Academy for either committing or covering up sexual misconduct dating back more than two years, district officials revealed Friday.

CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a morning news conference at the district’s downtown headquarters that he only found out about the investigation late last month and insisted other central office officials did not know the widespread nature of the allegations.

That’s even as the former principal of the school, Erin Galfer, was promoted to a district administrator position this June. She has since been fired, Martinez said.

CPS inspector general Will Fletcher didn’t immediately comment. His office’s findings are expected to be released later Friday.

Martinez said there was a “culture of behavior” at Marine Leadership Academy that is “not tolerated by our district.”

One allegation involved a teacher having a sexual relationship with a student once they turned 18 — conduct that led to that teacher’s removal but under Illinois law doesn’t constitute a crime because they were over the age of consent, Martinez said. He said he would lobby Illinois lawmakers to make it illegal for school workers to have sex with students no matter their age.

Another case had to do with a teacher grooming a student for sex after they graduated. Several more involved grooming or sexual harassment of students by staff members and one volunteer.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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