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(105 ILCS 5/26A-25)
(This Section may contain text from a Public Act with a delayed effective date
Complaint resolution procedure.
(a) On or before July 1, 2024, each school district must adopt one procedure to resolve complaints of violations of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly. The respondent must be one or more of the following: the school, school district, or school personnel. These procedures shall comply with the confidentiality provisions of Sections 26A-20 and 26A-30. The procedures must include, at minimum, all of the following:
(1) The opportunity to consider the most appropriate
means to execute the procedure considering school safety, the developmental level of students, methods to reduce trauma during the procedure, and how to avoid multiple communications with students involved with an alleged incident of domestic or sexual violence.
(2) Any proceeding, meeting, or hearing held to
resolve complaints of any violation of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly must protect the privacy of the participating parties and witnesses. A school, school district, or school personnel may not disclose the identity of parties or witnesses, except as necessary to resolve the complaint or to implement interim protective measures and reasonable support services or when required by State or federal law.
(3) Complainants alleging violations of this
amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly must have the opportunity to request that the complaint resolution procedure begin promptly and proceed in a timely manner.
(b) A school district must determine the individuals who will resolve complaints of violations of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly.
(1) All individuals whose duties include resolution
of complaints of violations of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly must complete a minimum of 8 hours of training on issues related to domestic and sexual violence and how to conduct the school's complaint resolution procedure, which may include the in-service training required under subsection (d) of Section 10-22.39, before commencement of those duties, and must receive a minimum of 6 hours of such training annually thereafter. This training must be conducted by an individual or individuals with expertise in domestic or sexual violence in youth and expertise in developmentally appropriate communications with elementary and secondary school students regarding topics of a sexual, violent, or sensitive nature.
(2) Each school must have a sufficient number of
individuals trained to resolve complaints so that (i) a substitution can occur in the case of a conflict of interest or recusal, (ii) an individual with no prior involvement in the initial determination or finding may hear any appeal brought by a party, and (iii) the complaint resolution procedure proceeds in a timely manner.
(3) The complainant and any witnesses shall (i)
receive notice of the name of the individual with authority to make a finding or approve an accommodation in the proceeding before the individual may initiate contact with the complainant and any witnesses and (ii) have the opportunity to request a substitution if the participation of an individual with authority to make a finding or approve an accommodation poses a conflict of interest.
(c) When the alleged violation of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly involves making a determination or finding of responsibility of causing harm:
(1) The individual making the finding must use a
preponderance of evidence standard to determine whether the incident occurred.
(2) The complainant and respondent and any witnesses
may not directly or through a representative question one another. At the discretion of the individual resolving the complaint, the complainant and the respondent may suggest questions to be posed by the individual resolving the complaint and if the individual resolving the complaint decides to pose such questions.
(3) A live hearing is not required. If the complaint
resolution procedure includes a hearing, no student who is a witness, including the complainant, may be compelled to testify in the presence of a party or other witness. If a witness invokes this right to testify outside the presence of the other party or other witnesses, then the school district must provide an option by which each party may, at a minimum, hear such witnesses' testimony.
(d) Each party and witness may request and must be allowed to have a representative or support persons of their choice accompany them to any meeting or proceeding related to the alleged violence or violation of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly if the involvement of the representative or support persons does not result in undue delay of the meeting or proceeding. This representative or support persons must comply with any rules of the school district's complaint resolution procedure. If the representative or support persons violate the rules or engage in behavior or advocacy that harasses, abuses, or intimidates either part, a witness, or an individual resolving the complaint, the representative or support person may be prohibited from further participation in the meeting or proceeding.
(e) The complainant, regardless of the level of involvement in the complaint resolution procedure, and the respondent must have the opportunity to provide or present evidence and witnesses on their behalf during the complaint resolution procedure.
(f) The complainant and respondent and any named perpetrator directly impacted by the results of the complaint resolution procedure, are entitled to simultaneous written notification of the results of the complaint resolution procedure, including information regarding appeals rights and procedures, within 10 business days after a decision or sooner if required by State or federal law or district policy.
(1) The complainant, respondents, and named
perpetrator if directly impacted by the results of the complaint resolution procedure must, at a minimum, have the right to timely appeal the complaint resolution procedure's findings or remedies if a party alleges (i) a procedural error occurred, (ii) new information exists that would substantially change the outcome of the proceeding, (iii) the remedy is not sufficiently related to the finding, or (iv) the decision is against the weight of the evidence.
(2) An individual reviewing the findings or remedies
may not have previously participated in the complaint resolution procedure and may not have a conflict of interest with either party.
(3) The complainant and respondent and any
perpetrators directly impacted by the results of the complaint resolution procedure must receive the appeal decision, in writing, within 10 business days, but never more than 15 business days, after the conclusion of the review of findings or remedies or sooner if required by State or federal law.
(g) Each school district must have a procedure to determine interim protective measures and support services available pending the resolution of the complaint including the implementation of court orders.
(Source: P.A. 102-466, eff. 7-1-25.)