MEDIA WATCH: Has the Sun-Times decided that Chicago's public schools are teaching their students raping?... July 6 headline and 'news' story -- '3 CPS students accused of robbing, raping girl' -- are a libel against everyone in the city's non-privatized remaining real public schools!

As the print circulation of the Chicago Sun-Times continues to drop, the newspaper's remaining readers are constantly challenged to deal with the incredible biases of those who own and run the city's second major daily newspaper. And that challenge was never greater for those who know and care about the city's public schools than on July 6, 2014 when CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.COM and its print companion blamed the public schools for training rapists.

Among other things he brags about, Chicago Sun-Times owner Michael Ferro is a "Henry Crown Fellow" at the Aspen Institute. But don't believe Substance. Go to Page Six of the print edition of the July 6, 2014 Chicago Sun-Times, or on line, and read the story: "AVALON PARK: 3 CPS students accused of robbing, raping girl" by Frank Main. And consider the fact that while some days the most disgusting headlines in the newspapers are not written by reporters that the reporter in this case actually wrote the following lede: "Three Chicago Public Schools students have been charged with robbing and raping a 16-year-old girl at gunpoint after she got off a CTA bus on the South Side... The students, who attend Chicago Vocational Career Academy -- were ordered held without bail Saturday..."

At least one reader was ready with a WTF!! that must have been heard all the way from the Bubgalow Belt down to the expensive "River North" headquarters of CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.COM, which is the entity that the latest owners of that property are trying to bulk up for a quickie "turnaround" a a bit of a profit. But that's another story related to this one.


3 CPS students accused of robbing, raping girl, 16, on South Side

By FRANK MAIN Staff Reporter July 5, 2014 6:02PM

Updated: July 6, 2014 2:28AM Three Chicago Public Schools students have been charged with robbing and raping a 16-year-old girl at gunpoint after she got off a CTA bus on the South Side.

The students who attend Chicago Vocational Career Academy were ordered held without bail Saturday.

Antwan Brown, 16, and Jeremiah Seymour and Kieran Smith, both 15, are charged as adults with aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated robbery in the 11 p.m. Thursday attack in the 8100 block of South Harper in Avalon Park.

Wearing navy blue, jail-issued sweat clothes, they appeared Saturday before Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas, who denied them bail, saying, Not only is this victim but this community at large is in grave danger.

All three defendants admitted the allegations against them, according to Assistant Cook County States Attorney Mary Hain, who said the police recovered a Motorola cell phone and $100 the three teenagers are suspected of stealing from the victim.

The victim was approached by the defendants, who she didnt know, when she got off a Chicago Transit Authority bus, Hain said.

According to the prosecutor, Seymour pointed a gun at the girls face, and Brown put a gun to the back of her head. At least one of the weapons was a BB gun, according to court records.

The girl was robbed and forced into an alley, where her attackers took turns raping her, Hain said.

Afterward, the girl ran for help, and her three attackers ran off but were quickly arrested. A Chicago Fire Department ambulance took the girl to Jackson Park Hospital, where she was treated, records show.

Police picked up Seymour at his grandmothers home. The officers recovered the stolen cell phone and cash from him, Hain said.

Seymours juvenile record includes an arrest for theft, but the other defendants dont have rap sheets, Hain said.

Smith and Brown are A and B students, and Seymour is an average student, according to their court-appointed attorney.

Maybe some of the bias currently wrapporting out of the Sun-Times can be explained by the fact that the current owner really bought the newspaper because he is hoping to repackage and rebrand it as an Internet property and then sell it at a profit. Readers remember that shortly after he took over what he called CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.COM, Michael Ferro, a buddy of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, replaced all of his photo journalists and copy editors with a Candy Room and new mood environments. Every day, except for the Sports section, the newspaper features three times as many pundits as reporters. While that may place a strain on the remaining reporters, like Frank Main, it's still no excuse for framing a summer vacation story into a slander against the city's public schools.

But consider Michael Ferro's career, as depicted at the Web site of Wrapports, his corporation:

Michael W. Ferro, Jr., Chairman

Michael W. Ferro, Jr. is the past chairman, CEO and founder of Click Commerce, Inc. Under Mr. Ferros leadership, Click Commerce pioneered the market for Internet portals that drove the integration of disparate systems in numerous vertical markets. He is the current chairman and CEO of Merrick Ventures, a technology holding company. He also is the current chairman of Merge Healthcare, a leading health records and imaging software company.

Mr. Ferro is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and is a director with the RAND Health Board of Advisors. He is a trustee of the Museum of Science and Industry, The Field Museum of Chicago, The Chicago News Cooperative, Northwestern University and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He serves on the boards of Northwestern University, The Chicago Community Trust, Childrens Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Foundation, Big Shoulders Foundation, and After School Matters. In addition to his civic and philanthropic activities, Mr. Ferro participates in several business organizations. He is the past chairman of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and the First Vice Chairman of the Economic Club of Chicago. Mr. Ferro also is a member of Young Presidents Organization and The Commercial Club of Chicago. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois.


July 6, 2014 at 4:24 PM

By: Deborrah Cooper

Not the Point of the Story

The point of the story is the sexual assault of a 16 year old girl at gunpoint by three idiots. They are not adults - so no one can say where they worked (which is usually a part of a story about an adult criminal). Instead, they reported where they went to school so that if other young ladies at or around that educational institution have been accosted by these little dummies, they can come forward and let it be known. I see nothing wrong with warning young women and their families that young men with this mentality are in their midst.

You sir, are focusing on the wrong thing here. Instead of concerning yourself about a building or school, your chief focus should be on the criminal acts of three students of a particular school, and warning parents to be on the lookout for dangerously sexist behavior by other young men. SMH.

July 7, 2014 at 8:42 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Rapists and the schools they went to...

As editor of Substance, I read every comment twice a day. We try to allow freedom of comments provided that those making comments give our readers their full name, as the above comment to this analysis did. But I've got to admit it's a mystifying point of view. My article criticized the Chicago Sun-Times for reporting a story about a rape on the city's South Side by three young men (they've since been charged as adults) and including the fact that the three of them attended Chicago Vocational High School (we can't bring ourselves at times to refer to Chicago high schools by those convoluted names CPS has given them to obfuscate the extent of racial segregation, so for Substance it's going to remain "CVS").

The logic of the commenter's comment seems to be that the public needs to know that these three alleged rapists went to CVS because then the public will know that CPS has had three alleged rapists among its students. But the last day of the regular school year was three weeks ago. The three alleged rapists were not reported to attending summer school (in fact, in a subsequent online report, the Sun-Times added -- again libelously against their school and gratuitously -- that two of them were "A and B" students, so summer school in unlikely).

So the point remains.


July 7, 2014 at 8:48 AM

By: Rod Estvan

They are not adults

I agree in part with Ms Cooper's comment, that it was not illegitimate fwhen the Sun Times identified the school these 3 students attended. But presenting the story with this lead "3 CPS students accused..." is very problematic. There is also a complete part of this story missing and is why the state's attorney charged the minors as adults.

I think when a decision is made to charge 15 year olds as adults the basis for that administrative decision needs to be discussed in the article and not just accepted as a fact. This is especially the case since 2 of the 3 students had no juvenile records according to the story. Since all three according to the story have admitted guilt thare are even more questions here.

When they were arrested and interrogated were they informed that they faced adult proceedings, meaning time in the Illinois Department of Corrections not a juvenile facility. I have a lot of questions about these issues.

Lastly, the victim her situation is a nightmare as a 16 year old. I do totally understand the need for justice for her, but it would also be nice if our government provided free psychological support for this child. Jackson Park Hospital where she was taken has been repeated cited by Illinois regulators for neglecting at-risk patients, records show. No matter how many times hospital administrators promised change, patients were placed in jeopardy, according to state records.

I would to be honest as a parent I would be totally traumatized if my daughter was taken to Jackson Park. It's an acute-care hospital with a psychiatric wing, Jackson Park Hospital draws nearly 25,000 admissions each year, all most all of them poor patients.

The hospital's policies require that special precautions be taken for patients at risk of suicide, seizures, assaults, falls and flight from the facility. Physicians can order one-on-one observations or visual checks every 15 minutes, for instance.

But in repeated cases in 2010 and 2011 orders weren't implemented, policies weren't followed and the safety of patients was threatened, according to investigative findings of the state Department of Public Health.

During an inspection of Jackson Park Hospital in September 2009, a state official discovered that seven psychiatric patients were not receiving one-on-one monitoring as ordered by their physicians. Instead, two sitters in the hallway were responsible for surveying all of the patients while they were in their rooms, some with privacy curtains drawn.

There were many aspects of this story not adequately discussed.

Rod Estvan

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