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(105 ILCS 5/22-85.5)
Sexual misconduct in schools.
(a) This Section applies beginning on July 1, 2022.
(b) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) the success of students in school relies on safe
learning environments and healthy relationships with school personnel;
(2) it is important for staff to maintain a
professional relationship with students at all times and to define staff-student boundaries to protect students from sexual misconduct by staff and staff from the appearance of impropriety;
(3) many breaches of staff-student boundaries do not
rise to the level of criminal behavior but do pose a potential risk to student safety;
(4) repeated violations of staff–student boundaries
can indicate the grooming of a student for sexual abuse;
(5) it is necessary to uphold the State Board of
Education's Code of Ethics for Illinois Educators and for each school district, charter school, or nonpublic school to have an employee code of professional conduct policy;
(6) each school district, charter school, or
nonpublic school must have the ability to discipline educators for breaches of its employee code of professional conduct policy;
(7) each school district, charter school, or
nonpublic school must have the ability to know if any of its educators have violated professional staff–student boundaries in previous employment; and
(8) as bystanders, educators may have knowledge of
concerning behaviors that no one else is aware of, so they need adequate training on sexual abuse, the employee code of professional conduct policy, and federal and State reporting requirements.
(c) In this Section, "sexual misconduct" means any act, including, but not limited to,
any verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic communication or
physical activity, by an employee or agent of the school district, charter school, or nonpublic school with direct contact with a student that is directed toward or with a student to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the student. Such an act includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
(1) A sexual or romantic invitation.
(2) Dating or soliciting a date.
(3) Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialog.
(4) Making sexually suggestive comments that are
directed toward or with a student.
(5) Self-disclosure or physical exposure of a
sexual, romantic, or erotic nature.
(6) A sexual, indecent, romantic, or erotic contact
(d) To prevent sexual misconduct with students, each school district, charter school, or nonpublic school shall develop an employee code of professional conduct policy that addresses all of the following:
(1) Incorporates the Code of Ethics for Illinois
(2) Incorporates the definition of "sexual
misconduct" in this Section.
(3) Identifies the expectations for employees and
agents of the school district, charter school, or nonpublic school regarding how to maintain a professional relationship with students, including the expectations for staff-student boundaries, recognizing the age and developmental level of the students served, and establishes guidelines for all of the following situations:
(A) Transporting a student.
(B) Taking or possessing a photo or a video of a
(C) Meeting with a student or contacting a
student outside of the employee's or agent's professional role.
(4) References the employee reporting requirements
required under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act and under Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972.
(5) References required employee training that is
related to child abuse and educator ethics that are applicable under State and federal law.
(e) The employee code of professional conduct policy must be posted on the website, if any, of each school district, charter school, or nonpublic school and must be included in any staff, student, or parent handbook provided by the school district, charter school, or nonpublic, nonsectarian elementary or secondary school.
(f) A violation of the employee code of professional conduct policy may subject an employee to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment. Failure to report a violation of the employee code of professional conduct policy may subject an employee to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment.
(Source: P.A. 102-676, eff. 12-3-21.)