SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, will serve as a leading voice in the bipartisan Make SAFE Task Force, which is a result of a new law that will provide the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and school districts additional tools to combat educator misconduct and prevent the hiring of individuals with a criminal record.
“It is disturbing to know that the educator misconduct that took place in CPS is happening in school districts across the state,” Crespo said. “This new law is an important first step to ensure school districts have the necessary tools to improve classroom safety.”
Crespo worked with Chicago Public Schools, the Illinois State Board of Education, Children’s Advocacy Centers, school management groups and teachers unions to get Senate Bill 456 signed into law. The measure requires schools to check sex offender and violent offender registries every five years for all personnel and bans schools from knowingly employing people who have been found to abuse or neglect children. Under Crespo’s new law, children that report abuse will be provided support by professionals from the Children Advocacy Centers.
Additionally, it creates the Make Sexual Abuse Fully Extinct (Make SAFE) Task Force, which will take an in-depth look at current practices in all K-12 schools in the state in order provide a report on the best practices to prevent sexual abuse in schools and provide appropriate support to victims. The task force will also include strong voices in education and advocacy from the Northwest Suburbs like Mark Parr, Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center and Nick Scipione, member of the SD54 School Board. The group’s report will be provided to the General Assembly by Sept. 15, 2020.
“Parents and advocates can rest assured that our bipartisan group is made up of talented and committed individuals,” Crespo added. “I look forward to reviewing current practices and hearing from leaders in education to ensure we deliver comprehensive solutions that will prevent abuse and provide appropriate support for our students.”
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