New Law Strengthens Protections for Student Safety

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Public Act 101-0531 signed into law on Friday, strengthens protections for student safety. The new law grants the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) the statutory authority to suspend an educator’s license immediately if they are charged with certain crimes, including sex crimes, drug offenses, and Class X felonies, as listed in Section 21B-80 of the Illinois School Code. The license would be reinstated if the person is acquitted. The new law’s enhancements to student safety will help prevent educators from obtaining employment at any other school while under investigation for committing certain serious crimes. Statute bars any individual without a valid and active license from working as a teacher, substitute teacher, paraprofessional, or academic administrator in an Illinois public school. ISBE also reports all licensure suspensions and revocations to a national database. The Act makes additional changes to strengthen protections for student safety, including:

• Requiring all school districts to review existing policies and procedures concerning sexual abuse investigations.

• Creating the Make Sexual and Severe Physical Abuse Fully Extinct Task Force, which will review the best practices for preventing the sexual abuse of students in a school-related setting, among other topics.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

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