A recess monitor at Bell Elementary School faces criminal charges for alleged “inappropriate touching” of a 12-year-old girl at the North Center school.
Quinten Hawthorne, 22, was ordered held on $50,000 bond Friday, approximately a month after school officials learned of the allegations and banned him from the school grounds. Hawthorne was an employee of Right at School, a company that provides recess and after-school monitors at some Chicago Public School campuses.
The alleged touching took on several occasions between Nov. 21 and Nov. 26, according to Chicago Police. School officials learned of the allegations on Nov. 26 and banned Hawthorne immediately, CPS officials said. Hawthorne turned himself in to police on Thursday, police said. Bell Elementary is at 3730 N. Oakley Ave.
Parents received an email from Bell Principal Katie Miller Friday afternoon, just hours after Hawthorne appeared for a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
The counts of criminal sexual abuse of a child under age 13 and sexual exploitation of a child appear to be the first criminal charges Hawthorne has faced in Cook County. CPS officials said his background was checked during a comprehensive background re-check initiated this summer by the district.
“We take these matters very seriously and remain committed to providing your children with a safe, positive learning environment where they can reach their full potential,” Miller said in the email, inviting parents to contact the school directly with questions or concerns.
“Nothing is more important to CPS than the safety of its students, and immediately after learning of these allegations the district removed the vendor employee from the school, initiated an investigation, and began coordinating supports for the affected student through the district’s new Office of Student Protections and Title IX,” a CPS spokesman said.