(105 ILCS 5/22-85)
Sexual abuse at schools.
(a) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) investigation of a child regarding an incident of
sexual abuse can induce significant trauma for the child;
(2) it is desirable to prevent multiple interviews of
(3) it is important to recognize the role of
Children's Advocacy Centers in conducting developmentally appropriate investigations.
(b) In this Section:
"Alleged incident of sexual abuse" is limited to an incident of sexual abuse of a child that is alleged to have been perpetrated by school personnel, including a school vendor or volunteer, that occurred (i) on school grounds or during a school activity or (ii) outside of school grounds or not during a school activity.
"Appropriate law enforcement agency" means a law enforcement agency whose employees have been involved, in some capacity, with an investigation of a particular alleged incident of sexual abuse.
(c) If a mandated reporter within a school has knowledge of an alleged incident of sexual abuse, the reporter must call the Department of Children and Family Services' hotline established under Section 7.6 of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act immediately after obtaining the minimal information necessary to make a report, including the names of the affected parties and the allegations. The State Board of Education must make available materials detailing the information that is necessary to enable notification to the Department of Children and Family Services of an alleged incident of sexual abuse. Each school must ensure that mandated reporters review the State Board of Education's materials and materials developed by the Department of Children and Family Services and distributed in the school building under Section 7 of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act at least once annually.
(d) For schools in a county with an accredited Children's Advocacy Center, every alleged incident of sexual abuse that is reported to the Department of Children and Family Services' hotline or a law enforcement agency and is subsequently accepted for investigation must be referred by the entity that received the report to the local Children's Advocacy Center pursuant to that county's multidisciplinary team's protocol under the Children's Advocacy Center Act for investigating child sexual abuse allegations.
(e) A county's local Children's Advocacy Center must, at a minimum, do both of the following regarding a referred case of an alleged incident of sexual abuse:
(1) Coordinate the investigation of the alleged
incident, as governed by the local Children's Advocacy Center's existing multidisciplinary team protocol and according to National Children's Alliance accreditation standards.
(2) Facilitate communication between the
multidisciplinary team investigating the alleged incident of sexual abuse and, if applicable, the referring school's (i) Title IX officer, or his or her designee, (ii) school resource officer, or (iii) personnel leading the school's investigation into the alleged incident of sexual abuse. If a school uses a designated entity to investigate a sexual abuse allegation, the multidisciplinary team may correspond only with that entity and any reference in this Section to "school" refers to that designated entity. This facilitation of communication must, at a minimum, ensure that all applicable parties have each other's contact information and must share the county's local Children's Advocacy Center's protocol regarding the process of approving the viewing of a forensic interview, as defined under Section 2.5 of the Children's Advocacy Center Act, by school personnel and a contact person for questions relating to the protocol.
(f) After an alleged incident of sexual abuse is accepted for investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services or a law enforcement agency and while the criminal and child abuse investigations related to that alleged incident are being conducted by the local multidisciplinary team, the school relevant to the alleged incident of sexual abuse must comply with both of the following:
(1) It may not interview the alleged victim regarding
details of the alleged incident of sexual abuse until after the completion of the forensic interview of that victim is conducted at a Children's Advocacy Center. This paragraph does not prohibit a school from requesting information from the alleged victim or his or her parent or guardian to ensure the safety and well-being of the alleged victim at school during an investigation.
(2) If asked by a law enforcement agency or an
investigator of the Department of Children and Family Services who is conducting the investigation, it must inform those individuals of any evidence the school has gathered pertaining to an alleged incident of sexual abuse, as permissible by federal or State law.
(g) After completion of a forensic interview, the multidisciplinary team must notify the school relevant to the alleged incident of sexual abuse of its completion. If, for any reason, a multidisciplinary team determines it will not conduct a forensic interview in a specific investigation, the multidisciplinary team must notify the school as soon as the determination is made. If a forensic interview has not been conducted within 15 calendar days after opening an investigation, the school may notify the multidisciplinary team that it intends to interview the alleged victim. No later than 10 calendar days after this notification, the multidisciplinary team may conduct the forensic interview and, if the multidisciplinary team does not conduct the interview, the school may proceed with its interview.
(h) To the greatest extent possible considering student safety and Title IX compliance, school personnel may view the electronic recordings of a forensic interview of an alleged victim of an incident of sexual abuse. As a means to avoid additional interviews of an alleged victim, school personnel must be granted viewing access to the electronic recording of a forensic interview conducted at an accredited Children's Advocacy Center for an alleged incident of sexual abuse only if the school receives (i) approval from the multidisciplinary team investigating the case and (ii) informed consent by a child over the age of 13 or the child's parent or guardian. Each county's local Children's Advocacy Center and multidisciplinary team must establish an internal protocol regarding the process of approving the viewing of the forensic interview, and this process and the contact person must be shared with the school contact at the time of the initial facilitation. Whenever possible, the school's viewing of the electronic recording of a forensic interview should be conducted in lieu of the need for additional interviews.
(i) For an alleged incident of sexual abuse that has been accepted for investigation by a multidisciplinary team, if, during the course of its internal investigation and at any point during or after the multidisciplinary team's investigation, the school determines that it needs to interview the alleged victim to successfully complete its investigation and the victim is under 18 years of age, a child advocate must be made available to the student and may be present during the school's interview. A child advocate may be a school social worker, a school or equally qualified psychologist, or a person in a position the State Board of Education has identified as an appropriate advocate for the student during a school's investigation into an alleged incident of sexual abuse.
(j) The Department of Children and Family Services must notify the relevant school when an agency investigation of an alleged incident of sexual abuse is complete. The notification must include information on the outcome of that investigation.
(k) The appropriate law enforcement agency must notify the relevant school when an agency investigation of an alleged incident of sexual abuse is complete or has been suspended. The notification must include information on the outcome of that investigation.
(l) This Section applies to all schools operating under this Code, including, but not limited to, public schools located in cities having a population of more than 500,000, a school operated pursuant to an agreement with a public school district, alternative schools operated by third parties, an alternative learning opportunities program, a public school administered by a local public agency or the Department of Human Services, charter schools operating under the authority of Article 27A, and non-public schools recognized by the State Board of Education.
(Source: P.A. 101-531, eff. 8-23-19; 102-558, eff. 8-20-21.)