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Thursday, October 17, 2019

ILLINOIS STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 44: Crespo Passes Legislation to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Schools


By Press release submission | Jun 11, 2019

Illinois State House District 44 issued the following announcement on June 5.

Children will be better protected in school under legislation passed by state Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, working with a variety of advocates and administrators to give the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and school districts additional tools to combat educator misconduct and prevent the hiring of individuals with a criminal record.

“The stories we’ve seen about educator misconduct in our schools shed light on loopholes in current law that put the safety of our children and their learning environments at risk,” Crespo said. “This legislation was ultimately the product of months of work and collaboration from every stakeholder, and I’m confident that it’ll provide our schools the tools they need to hire and retain the most qualified teachers.”

Crespo worked Chicago Public Schools, the Illinois State Board of Education, Children’s Advocacy Centers, school management groups, and teachers unions on Senate Bill 456, which would require schools to check sex offender and violent offender registries every five years for all personnel and bans schools from knowingly employing people who have been found to abuse or neglect children. Under Crespo’s proposal, children that report abuse would be interviewed by professionals from the Children Advocacy Centers. Additionally, the bill allows the state to suspend an educator’s license if an educator is charged with violent or sexual offenses.

“The top priority of our teachers and school staff is student safety and well-being, and we are grateful to Representative Crespo for his work to bring everyone together to strengthen the protections in our schools,” Dan Montgomery, President and COO of the Illinois Federation of Teachers said.

“This legislation will ensure that every child who experiences sexual abuse by a school professional will be treated in a trauma-informed way, ensuring professionals at children’s advocacy centers are involved from day one to make victim’s needs a priority,” Char Rivette, Executive Director of Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center said.

Original source can be found here.

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