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New Law Requires School Boards to Adopt Teen Dating Violence Policy

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August 21, 2013

Amy Dickerson

Earlier this month, Governor Quinn signed into law Public Act 098-0190, which amends the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act to require all school boards to develop and adopt a policy on teen dating violence. Effective August 6, 2013, the law requires each school board to adopt a policy that includes the following components:

  • A statement that teen dating violence is unacceptable and prohibited, and that each student has the right to a safe learning environment;
  • Incorporation of age-appropriate education about teen dating violence into new or existing training programs for students in grades 7 through 12 and school employees;
  • Procedures for the manner in which employees of a school are to respond to incidents of teen dating violence that take place at the school, on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, or in vehicles used for school-provided transportation;
  • Identification by job title of the school officials who are responsible for receiving reports related to teen dating violence; and 
  • Notification to students and parents of the teen dating violence policy adopted by the Board.

The law defines “teen dating violence” as 1) a pattern of behavior in which a person uses or threatens to use physical, mental, or emotional abuse to control another person who is in a dating relationship with the person, where one or both persons are 13 to 19 years of age, or 2) behavior by which a person uses or threatens to use sexual violence against another person who is in a dating relationship with the person, where one or both persons are 13 to 19 years of age.

All Illinois public school districts – including elementary school districts – must adopt this new policy. Thus, all school boards should immediately begin developing and adopt a teen dating policy that includes these required components. 

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