Principal quits after sexual misconduct allegations surface

A suburban middle school principal has resigned after his superiors learned that an investigation into "sexually harassing misconduct" allegations while he worked for the Chicago Public Schools led to a recommendation that his name be put on a "Do Not Hire" list.

The (Tinley Park) Daily Southtown reports that Matteson School District 159 Superintendent Mable Alfred informed parents this week that Colin Powel Middle School Principal Cedric Nolen quit the job he took in July after she learned of the allegations and placed him on leave.

She said she only learned of the allegations recently and she, at the recommendation of the CPS, learned of the allegations after filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

Angry parents now want to know how he was hired after being put on the list. Hundreds of people packed into the auditorium of Yates Elementary to fire questions at school district staff on Wednesday. 

Nolen was hired as principal of the schools two months after a CPS inspector general report found allegations that, as principal of a Parkside elementary school, he sexually harassed a co-worker.

The inspector general called the claims substantiated and recommended he be added to the "Do Not Hire List."

It's something Matteson district officials say they became aware of only after they were contacted by Chicago Public Schools, once Nolen was hired.

The superintendent says the allegations were not picked up in a background check, but parents question why officials did not perform a full check of Nolen's references before he was hired.

In a statement, Chicago Public Schools said, "Other school districts routinely contact CPS as part of reference checks, and we provide them information about substantiated misconduct. In this instance, no such request was made."

The inspector general report makes mention of an ongoing Chicago police investigation into the claims. Chicago police say no charges have been filed.

Nolen was not present at the meeting and his attorneys were unable to be reached.