What is Faith’s Law?
Faith's Law is a significant piece of legislation aimed at safeguarding students within the Illinois education system. Enacted to ensure a safe and supportive environment for all students, Faith's Law addresses issues related to sexual misconduct and outlines clear guidelines for schools to follow when handling allegations of such misconduct.
Faith’s Law is named after prevention advocate and child sexual abuse survivor Faith Colson, who graduated from an Illinois high school in the early 2000s.
Faith’s Law was passed by the 102nd General Assembly as two separate pieces of legislation that addressed sexual abuse response and prevention. The first legislation, Public Act 102-0676, took effect on December 3, 2021, and, for the first time, established the definition of sexual misconduct within the School Code. The second legislation, Public Act 102-0702, took effect on July 1, 2023. It focuses on the prevention of “sexual misconduct” as defined in the first part of the legislation (Public Act 102-0676) by school employees, substitute employees, and employees of contractors.
The ultimate goals of Public Act 102-0702 are to give parents/guardians notice regarding allegations of sexual misconduct that involve their student; equip schools across Illinois with better information regarding the employment history of an applicant or employee of a contractor; give schools the resources necessary to make well-informed decisions about who they are employing/contracting with; and protect students from acts of sexual misconduct by school employees, substitute employees, and employees of contractors.
Key Aspects of Faith's Law
Key aspects of Faith's Law include:
Expectations for ALL Westchester SD 92½ Employees
Expectations for Teachers and Staff
All Westchester SD 92 ½ Employees are expected to maintain high standards in their school relationships, to demonstrate integrity and honesty, to be considerate and cooperative, and to maintain professional and appropriate relationships with students, parents, staff members, and others. In addition, the Code of Ethics for Illinois Educators, adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education, is incorporated by reference into this policy. Any employee who sexually harasses a student, willfully or negligently fails to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect as required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (325 ILCS 5/), engages in grooming as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-25, engages in grooming behaviors, violates boundaries for appropriate school employee-student conduct, or otherwise violates an employee conduct standard will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal.
The Superintendent or designee shall identify appropriate employee conduct standards and provide them to all District employees. Standards related to school employee-student conduct shall, at a minimum:
Westchester SD 92½ Employee Code of Professional Conduct Policy
Westchester SD 92 ½ Employee Code of Professional Conduct Policy
In compliance with Faith’s Law, Westchester School District 92 ½ has developed and implemented an employee code of professional conduct policy. Please click here to see the policy in its entirety:
Cross-references within our Board Policy Manual include:
Faith’s Law Resource Guide
Faith’s Law Resource Guide
ISBE has developed and maintains the Faith’s Law Resource Guide that includes guidance for pupils, parents/guardians, and teachers about sexual abuse responses and prevention resources available in their community, including the contact information of entities that provide services for victims of child sexual abuse and their families.
For more detailed information about Faith's Law, you can refer to the Illinois State Board of Education's Faith's Law webpage.