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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

GOV, Welch blocks investigation sexual predator allegations [D209]

In September, 2005, detailed anonymous allegations were made that a Proviso Township High Schools staff member has a history of being a serial sexual predator and has preyed on students under his supervision. This individual has direct contact with students at District 209.

When the board discussed these allegations in closed session, board president Emanuel Christopher Welch refused requests to investigate the individual. The individual is politically connected to Welch. As a result of the allegations another school district, where the misconduct is alleged to have occurred, did open an investigation based on the same anonymous allegations.

There were no allegations of misconduct toward District 209 students.

Welch has refused to answer my questions about the allegations or the individual in question.

18 Comments:

  • In Welch’s mailing last week it gives “Chris Welch’s Anti-Crime Agenda” which includes the bullet point, “Place GPS tracking devices on paroled child molesters in order to monitor any attempts made by them to approach schools or playgrounds.”

    This claim seems like typical Welch dishonesty given Welch’s actual history of expending energy to remain ignorant of the possibility one of his cronies is a child molester that Welch has put in direct contact with District 209 students.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 11:44 AM, February 21, 2006  

  • For those of you that know the name of the person who has been alleged to have had inappropriate sexual contact with students, please don't post it to Proviso Probe.

    Let's keep this focused on what we know for certain.

    Welch knew about the allegations and directed staff not to conduct an investigation.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 11:54 AM, February 21, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • Since the allegations occurred in another district, there are no such allegations in district 209, and the district in which the allegations occurred is investigating, why shouldn't Welch wait to find out the results from the district doing the investigation?

    By Blogger Steven, at 4:38 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:56 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • Welcome to Proviso Probe. House rules are that you have to post under a pseudonym or your own name. It's confusing if more than one person posts as "anonymous".

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 4:57 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • An anonymous poster raised the issue of mandated reporters.

    DCFS explains that failure to make a report constitutes a Class A misdemeanor.

    Here's the list of mandatory reporters for schools:

    School and Child Care Personnel: Teachers, school personnel, educational advocates assigned to a child pursuant to the School Code, truant officers, directors and staff assistants of day care centers and nursery schools, and child care workers.

    As I read the DCFS website, school board members are not mandatory reporters, but a CEO probably is a mandatory reporter.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 5:03 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • Nyberg, what's with you? You title the piece, "..., Welch blocks investigation ..." and you go onto state that "Welch refused to answer any questions" (about his actions). You really have it in for this guy to the point that your good judgment, assuming you have any, is skewed as hell. Why wouldn't Welch let other investigations take their course? Maybe he didn't answer your questions because he didn't have answers or he didn't want to prematurely and without solid basis besmirch the name of a citizen based on innuendo or vague allegations. The teacher has his rights as well, doesn't he? You state that the teacher has political ties to Welch and imply that's why Welch is taking his seeming obstructionist actions. In your eyes, there's just not one damn good thing about Welch, is there?

    By Blogger Steven, at 5:04 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • steven, if Welch has said, "let's work with District XXX in investigating this," I wouldn't criticize him for making the call.

    But his rationale for not investigating was that the allegations were anonymous, not that D209 should wait for some other entity to take the lead.

    As I understand the situation, D209 did not formally forward the allegations to the other district in question.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 5:05 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • If you want me to cover some story, why don't you email me with the details you know?

    Does this seem like a logical first step?

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 5:06 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • I can see Welch's point. Depending upon the details, or lack thereof, of the allegations presented to the 209 Board, maybe it was determined that the anonymously-submitted allegations had little or no merit and/or didn't rise to the level of 209 investigating, especially in light of the fact that another district was investigating. There are different views in regard to how anonymous allegations should be generally dealt with as well. By investigating each and every anonymous allegation, you may empower the disenfranchised, the malcontent, the psychopaths, and/or those who seek some form of inappropriate control in their lives. All of this can result in wasting resources, time, energy, and/or money. And, of course, Carl, you are so very interested in how the district spends its money, I would think that you might be just a little pleased that 209 didn't launch its own superfluous investigation and possibly needlessly spend more money.

    By Blogger Steven, at 7:42 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • sarah says: Ask Gary Woll what happened when elmwood park high school wrongly fired him because he was accused (not convicted) of rape. Welch is right not to make a move until all the facts are in. Proviso has enough law suits against it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:50 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • I do not care for Chris and his cronies, and they will not get my vote, but I just want to clarify this issue of Welch blocking an investigation of alleged sexual abuse. First, Welch cannot block an investigation. Schools should not be investigating allegations of abuse or neglect. The school should be notifying DCFS hotline, 1.800.25.ABUSE and make a report. DCFS will do the investigation. The school should come up with a safety plan pending the investigation. In other words, the school need to be prepared to tell DCFS in writing how the teacher/staff will not be around children pending the investigation. Some schools would reassigned a staff person accused of sex abuse to desk duties. Anybody can call DCFS hotline if they feel someone has been abused. The call can be anonymous. D209 should not rush to judgement and accused someone of abuse and there is no credible evidence found by DCFS. Maybe Welch is waiting to see what the other school district investigation is doing - That Other school should have called DCFS if they felt that a child may have been abused. Let us not rush to judgement and call someone a sexual predator or registered sex offender. If you think someone is a sex offender you can go to www.isp.state.il.us/sor/ to check. People have a tendency of crucifying others and do not have the information. Get the facts first before running off with the mouth. This is not fair to the individual in question and it is not fair to the individual YOU HOPE IT IS!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:50 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • Again, I don't know the details of the allegations. If a specific child or children were not named in the allegations, I don't know that calling the D.C.F.S. Hotline could or would launch an investigation. Also, if a child or children was not named and since the complaint was anonymous, who would D.C.F.S. go to get more details? This is one of the problems with anonymous allegations and complaints. Since we're not in possession of the anonymous allegations, all of this speculation. Welch and the school board were in possession of it.

    By Blogger Steven, at 8:50 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • Listed below is information about mandated reporters. Hey, Steven, I know for a fact that you do not need to know the name of an alleged child victim to begin an investigation. Also, I know for a fact that you can call the hotline anonymously. DCFS would need a combination of the address, the age of the alleged child victim or alleged offender would be helpful. DCFS would make an effort to identify/locate the family/child.

    300.APPENDIX A Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status
    I, (Employee name) , understand that when I am employed as a (Type of Employment), I will become a mandated reporter under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 23, pars. 2051 et seq.) This means that I am required to report or cause a report to be made to the child abuse Hotline number (1-800-25A-BUSE) whenever I have reasonable cause to believe that a child known to me in my professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected. I understand that there is no charge when calling the Hotline number and that the Hotline operates 24-hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

    I further understand that the privileged quality of communication between me and my patient or client is not grounds for failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect. I know that if I willfully fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect I may be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. This does not apply to physicians who will be referred to the Illinois State Medical Disciplinary Board for action.

    I also understand that if I am subject to licensing under the Illinois Nursing Act, the Medical Practice Act, the Psychologist Registration Act, the Social Workers Registration Act, the Illinois Dental Practices Act, the School Code, or "AN ACT to regulate the practice of Podiatry in the State of Illinois," I may be subject to license suspension or revocation if I willfully fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

    I affirm that I have read this statement and have knowledge and understanding of the reporting requirements which apply to me under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

    _______________________________

    Signature of Applicant/Employee

    _______________________________

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:08 PM, February 21, 2006  

  • Well, my name was used in connection with accusations against Chris Welch, of which I really know nothing about but the "anonymous" person needs to get their facts straight. In 1973, yes 1973, I was mistakenly accused of "attempted" rape by a lady I had never met, and, Elmwood Park School Board/Administration paid me full salary including summer school pay, which they were under no obligation to do, while we fought these false charges until I was found not guilty by a judge who had a reputation as a "hanging judge." From time to time various local area politicians have tried to use this against me without success. I still remember that Hugh "Mr. Maywood", who I had just lost to in my first try for a trustee position, was the first to walk up my steps with a contribution to my defense fund. Anyway, remembering all of this late tonight, I would remind the writer that Elmwood Park did NOT fire me.

    By Anonymous Gary Woll, at 12:10 AM, February 22, 2006  

  • "This means that I am required to report or cause a report to be made to the child abuse Hotline number (1-800-25A-BUSE) whenever I have reasonable cause to believe that a child *known to me* in my professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected." What does "known to me" mean? If the anonymous allegations do not contain information about specific children or which could lead to specific children "known to me", does the allegation really rise to D.C.F.S. reportability status? I'm not a lawyer, but, yes, Welch is. Again, maybe the 209 Board, having had the actual allegations, made a reasonable determination not to report the allegations (if they actually did not report them). After all, the allegations did not pertain to any child in district 209, and, therefore, the child/children were not likely to be "known to them". Further, as Nyberg said, it appears board members may not be mandated reorters.

    By Blogger Steven, at 6:40 AM, February 22, 2006  

  • PROVISO BOOSTER:
    -----------------

    WHO IS THIS PERSON? WHAT SCHOOL DO THEY WORK IN? EAST OR WEST? THIS IS SO BAD FOR THE COMMUNITY IF IT IS TRUE. IT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:31 PM, February 28, 2006  

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