FOIA Request Forces Chicago Mayor To Speak Out | Cassie Terry

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The Chicago Public Schools have been dealing with sexual abuse and assault on children long -enough. In the recent years, more importantly, 2017-2018 years were the most prominent voices are trying to be heard. As the issue has been progressing, new reporters have dived deeper into the issues, while rounding up as much information possible to inform the Chicago public. Most commentaries were made by Chicago police investigators. Due to the lack of information being found or spoke about and with no word from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tribune reporters began filing for FOIA (Freedom of Information Act).

Chicago civilians, police, and reporters alike are discussing the “act” Emanuel is putting on to try to get in front of the issue he fell many steps behind on. Mayor Emanuel came forth on June 5th, 2018 to stand before Chicago and rest of Illinois to publicly apologize on behalf of himself and all adults associated with the public-school scandal. During his speech, Emanuel related with the people of Chicago stating, “But the question is, what are we going to do besides words? What are the deeds to fix this up?” (Zorn, 2018) He proceeded to take responsibility and accountability on the lack of actions to help these kids involved in the incidences.

It came down to a lack of communication. Emanuel may not be directly involved in hiring the school employees who are responsible for the abuse “attacks” but, reporters filed for the FOIA due to Mayor Rahm not taking the entitative to get ahead of it. The Tribune reports began filing for the FOIA back in January of 2018. Former Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot, states “Emanuel’s failure to take immediate and strong steps to combat the problem lead to horrible and epic failure of leadership.” (Zorn, 2018)

Skilled investigative journalists are not only realizing the issue is just focused on the Chicago Public Schools but in districts all around the country. The future is looking at updated and harsher policies for the public-school systems. Civilians are asking for a harsher hiring process

for school employees consisting of stronger background checks to make it safer for the children to attend their schools.

The city of Chicago has been in a standstill for the last five months as the FOIA was being processed and no word from city officials. Once the FOIA came to light, the city of Chicago was skeptical of our Mayor’s apologetic words and ownership. Now we are looking at the political impact this will have now that the FOIA was granted and what the Mayor does now and how it reflects on what he did previously. Right now, the city of Chicago is not having much faith in how the mayor will find solutions and act on them now that the FOIA has come to light. Chicago, Illinois, and others in the nation will be sitting by and waiting to make sure the kids involved are heard, receive justice, and have safer school environments.

“The FOIA put them on the clock and they failed,” Stated Lightfoot.