DECATUR, Ill. – Children enrolled in local park district programs have an added layer of protection under legislation co-sponsored by state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur. House Bill 786 prohibits districts from knowingly using volunteers who have been found to be child predators.
“When parents drop off their children at the park, they deserve to know that their children will be in the care and supervision of individuals who have been thoroughly vetted,” Scherer said. “Child sex offenders have no business trying to be park district volunteers who regularly work with our youth.”
Scherer’s House Bill 786 forbids local park districts from utilizing the services of any volunteer with a history of committing sexual abuse against children. The new law requires all park district volunteers to fill out an application and disclose if they have been found to be a child sex offender. Failure to disclose this information would be considered a Class A misdemeanor, and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violation, punishable by up to a week in jail.
“As a former teacher, I can’t stress enough how important it is to take the appropriate precautions to keep our children safe,” Scherer said. “While park districts employees are already required to undergo a screening process, this new law holds volunteers to the same high standard.”
For more information, please contact Scherer’s constituent service office at 217-877-9636 or by email at StateRepSue@gmail.com. Scherer represents the 96th District, which includes portions of Christian, Macon and Sangamon counties.