Emanuel apologizes for sexual violence to students at Chicago Public Schools

Fran Spielman and Lauren FitzPatrick :

“All adults offer apology. I offer my apology. But the question is, what are we gonna do now besides words? What are the deeds to fix this up?” Emanuel said.

“I take responsibility. … I’m accountable for me,” he said. But Emanuel was quick to note that the sexual violence uncovered in Tribune reporting “goes back 10 years” and probably “way back” further than that.

“That doesn’t excuse what happened here. … All of us –– from principal to teacher to colleagues to the CEO, the bureaucracy, the mayor — we’re all responsible. We’re also then therefore … responsible for fixing it. From hiring to investigating to prosecuting and making sure that nobody ever is hired again anywhere — not just in CPS. All of that has to be tightened up,” he said.

His words were not enough to satisfy mayoral challenger Lori Lightfoot.

Lightfoot convened a news conference outside Walter Payton College Prep, a top-rated selective high school often praised by Emanuel as among the state’s best, and home to one of the alleged victims.

There, she argued that parents should have been notified five months ago, when the Tribune filed its first Freedom of Information requests, setting off “alarm bells” at City Hall.