New Law Requires School Boards to Adopt Teen Dating Violence Policy
August 21, 2013
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.