A measure aimed at protecting Illinois students from sexual abuse and assault at school is headed to the governor’s desk after the state Senate unanimously approved the bill.
The strongest provisions aim to protect students from repeated interrogations by school officials when they report sexual abuse at school, to allow them to avoid testifying in person against their alleged abusers at disciplinary hearings, and to permit districts to warn prospective employers about educators’ past misconduct.
Lawmakers said the bill also would address several other failures highlighted in the Chicago Tribune’s “Betrayed” investigation, which uncovered 523 times when police investigated a case of sexual assault or abuse of a child inside a Chicago public school in the past decade.
For instance, the bill would empower the state board of education to immediately suspend the license of any educator charged with a sex crime or Class X felony instead of waiting for a conviction, as is currently the law.
A version of this article appeared in the June 12, 2019 edition of Education Week as Spurred by Actions in Chicago Schools, Ill. Legislators Buttress Sex-Abuse Rules