Jesiel Unanimously Advances Legislation to Protect Abused Students

Last week, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) advanced legislation through the Illinois House of Representatives to improve protections for students. House Bill 3615 updates the law so students in Illinois schools will be protected from being confronted by an abuser employed by a school.

“When a student is abused, the fear of being confronted by their abuser can keep them from reporting the situation or worse, allow the abuse to continue,” said Jesiel. “House Bill 3615 removes that barrier and ensures no student will have to suffer further abuse or intimidation by being confronted by an abuser at school. I’m glad my colleagues in the House recognized the importance of this legislation by unanimously passing it, and I hope it receives the same level of support in the Senate.”

Under Illinois law, school employees are guaranteed various degrees of due process if a student accuses an employee of abuse. However, due to the sensitive and traumatic nature of child abuse, students under 14 have already been protected from direct confrontation by their abuser, but not students over 14. The Department of Child and Family Services recognized the need to change this aspect of Illinois law to ensure the safety of students involved in an abuse investigation and sought Jesiel’s assistance. Through House Bill 3615, Illinois law will be updated to ensure students are protected by the best practices for situations involving abuse or neglect.

House Bill 3615 passed both the House Judiciary Committee and the full House with unanimous support and is now awaiting approval in the Senate before it can be sent to Governor Rauner for a signature into law. To Learn more about the legislation, Click Here.

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