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Betrayed: Chicago Schools Fail To Protect Students From Sexual Abuse

They were top athletes and honor-roll students, children struggling to read and teenagers seeking guidance.

But then they became prey, among the many students raped or sexually abused during the last decade by trusted adults working in the Chicago Public Schools as district officials repeated obvious child-protection mistakes.

Their lives were upended, their futures clouded and their pain unacknowledged as a districtwide problem was kept under wraps. A Tribune analysis indicates that hundreds of students were harmed.

Overview

Early Childhood Education

From the moment a child is born, the learning begins. By kindergarten, gaps in skills and knowledge for some children have set in that can last a lifetime.

Key Coverage

Education Writers’ Conference Weighs School Violence, Teacher Unrest

Education journalists from across the nation gathered here this week with a focus on diversity in their profession, recent activism by teachers, and the scourge of school violence, among other topics.

The Education Writers Association’s top award for education reporting went to John Woodrow Cox of The Washington Post for a compelling three-part series on children and gun violence, which was published last June.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Word on the Beat: DACA

All eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court as it weighs whether to preserve an Obama-era program that protected undocumented youth and young adults from deportation. In this installment of Word on the Beat, we examine the history of the DACA program, its legacy, and the significant implications the pending legal ruling could have on students, families and schools from K-12 through higher education.

Word on the Beat: DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

Key Coverage

Parkland Shooting: Survivor Kyle Laman’s Journey to Recovery

He thought he’d be safe backstage, out of the spotlight, away from the shadows that prowled the edges of his vision when his guard was down.

Crowds spooked him now. It was seven weeks since he had locked eyes with a black-masked gunman taking aim at him in the midst of the worst school shooting in Florida’s history. Seven weeks since he’d made the split-second decision that saved his life but left a softball-sized hole in his leg. Seven weeks since he’d seen bullets lodging in the wall around him as he ran past bodies of his classmates in a wild panic to survive.

Key Coverage

Children Face Potential Poisoning From Lead, Mold, Asbestos in Philadelphia Schools, Investigation Shows

Every school day in Philadelphia, children are exposed to a stew of environmental hazards, both visible and invisible, that can rob them of a healthy place to learn and thrive. Too often, the district knows of the perils but downplays them to parents.

As part of its “Toxic City” series, the Inquirer and Daily News investigated the physical conditions at district-run schools. Reporters examined five years of internal maintenance logs and building records, and interviewed 120 teachers, nurses, parents, students, and experts.

Information

2018 Award Categories

The Education Writers Association adjusted the awards categories for 2018 to account for changes in the ways journalists present their work and to emphasize the benefit that investigative and explanatory journalism offers communities.

Among the most important changes: a broadening of the standard categories to include journalism in any media. Now the News, Feature, Beat, Public Service and Eddie categories will accept entries of any and all media types. And the new Audio and Visual categories will accept entries from any independent news outlet.