Faith’s Law, a Law Aimed at Eradicating Sexual Misconduct at Illinois’ Schools
Faith’s Law is a law named after prevention advocate and child sexual abuse survivor Faith Colson, who was sexually abused by a teacher at her high school in Illinois. Years later, during the course of legal proceedings related to the abuse, Faith learned that several adults within her high school suspected that the teacher’s relationship with her was inappropriate but did not take appropriate action to report their concerns. This motivated Faith to push for change to state laws related to educator sexual misconduct in K-12 schools.
Faith’s Law was passed by the 102nd General Assembly as two separate pieces of legislation and, for the first time, established the definition of sexual misconduct within the School Code. It further outlined the requirements for schools to develop and post employee code of professional conduct policies, which were to include the definition of sexual misconduct, and required Illinois State Board of Education to develop a resource guide for schools to make available to pupils, parents/guardians, and teachers. This law also expanded the definition of “grooming” in the Illinois Criminal Code, adding “grooming” to the list of conduct that qualifies a child as an “abused child” under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, and added professional development training opportunities for employees seeking to renew their professional educator license.
The attorneys at Justice for Kids have a great amount of experience helping victims of sexual abuse in the school environment find justice and remedy the wrongs suffered.