Some parents call for Jones College Prep principal to resign over alleged misconduct reports, Title IX violations

CHICAGO (WLS) — Members of the Jones Local School Council are calling on Jones College Prep principal Joseph Powers to resign, alleging he ignored reports of alleged misconduct at the school for years and violated Title IX protections for students.

Jones College Prep is one of the top selective enrollment schools in Chicago Public Schools, and has received national awards. But now some parents want Powers gone.

“Not caring about reports from marginalized students and teachers is a dereliction of our duties,” said Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, parent representative in Jones Local School Council.

Members of the council say Powers has ignored reports of alleged misconduct at the school for years.

“Including verbal abuse, a threat of physical violence, sexual harassment, grooming and sexual abuse against both students and staff victims,” said Cassie Creswell, chair of Jones Local School Council.

“Administration has said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong unless someone tells me.’ They have been telling you for years,” said Sarah Ma, parent representative.

The local school council detailed the allegations in a partially-redacted letter in February to CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. The LSC also accused the administration of “violating Title IX” anti-discrimination laws, alleging, “…long-standing disparities [in resources] between girls and boys sports teams…” and said it’s “…committed to the safety and well-being of [its] students and takes all allegations of employee misconduct seriously.”

“Every person who walks through those doors deserves respect and care,” said Manaa-Hoppenworth.

Powers did not respond to ABC7’s request for comment. Earlier in March he sent a letter to parents, accusing the LSC of “interfering in personnel matters” and “initiating direct contact with students and staff members for purposes of attacking school leadership.”

Last week, the LSC voted to request that CPS begin the formal process of firing Powers. CEO Martinez has 45 days to respond.

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