Questions about Sex Abuse Charges Against a Teacher at a Private Christian School

January 16, 2009 at 7:01 am Leave a comment

Victims’ advocates on Wednesday asked a private Christian school on Chicago’s West Side to publicize the October arrest of a teacher charged with sexually assaulting a student in her classroom.

Math teacher Kathryn Vail-Wesley, 22, has been charged with five counts of criminal sexual assault involving a 17-year-old student in Chicago Hope Academy, 2189 W. Bowler St.
According to the boy’s mother, the student was in Vail-Wesley’s class. The mother said Shane Wesley–Vail-Wesley’s husband and also a teacher at the private high school–discovered his wife and the student together and punched the student. No charges were filed against the husband.
School officials said they notified law enforcement as required by law, but they would not confirm whether the teachers still taught at the school. The student’s mother said Shane Wesley still teaches there. But she was told if she didn’t withdraw her son from the school, the student faced expulsion. She said parents were told of the incident when they arrived to pick up report cards in October.
Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, criticized the school’s handling of the case at a news conference Wednesday.
“The child should’ve been embraced by the school,” Blaine said. “They haven’t created an environment to encourage people to come forward.”
Confronting SNAP members outside the school on Wednesday, Head of School Mike Laneve invited them, concerned parents and reporters to meet with him personally. Once inside, he said he could not discuss school affairs in public but said the school conducts employee-background checks and takes other precautions to “create a safe environment” for its 179 students.
Chicago Public Schools officials said the charges did not jeopardize the academy’s efforts to contract with the district and become a public school in fall 2010.
The school also was featured last year in Oprah Winfrey’s “Big Give,” a competition in which contestants did good deeds to change lives and win cash.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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Entry filed under: Christian, Education. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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