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KIDS TOO Sends Rallying Cry of Support for House Bill 3290: Urging Illinois Legislators to Protect Children from Predators in Sc

KIDS TOO Sends Rallying Cry of Support for House Bill 3290: Urging Illinois Legislators to Protect Children from Predators in Schools

PR Newswire

Bill Introduced to the House for More Protections against Predatory Educators Who Groom Older Teens and "Wait" to Have Sex with Them When They Turn 18

CHICAGO, March 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- KIDS TOO, commonly known as the Me Too movement for kids, announced today that they are joining forces with other child advocacy organizations to demand that Illinois Legislators pass HB 3290. This legislation, sponsored by Representatives Katie Stuart, Jehan Gordon-Booth, Amy Elik and Michelle Mussman, is designed to criminalize educators who commit a sexual act toward students ages 18-22 attending classes at a public or nonpublic secondary school.

Educator sexual abuse is pervasive in schools across America, with 1 in 10 children experiencing sexual misconduct by a school official before graduating from high school, according to the US Department of Education. Illinois made news headlines in 2018 regarding its largest school district, Chicago Public Schools, when the high volume of sexual abuse cases and misconduct by educators in CPS was revealed.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was created to serve as an independent oversight body for Chicago's public, contract and charter schools. Among other focus areas, OIG investigates allegations of sexual misconduct, releasing annual reports with insights on allegations, handling of cases and outcomes. In addition, Faith's Law legislation and its trailer bill, signed by Illinois Governor Pritzker in 2021, ensures training for educators about grooming tactics and allows school districts to request and receive more in-depth educator employment histories.

In Faith's Law, however, one loophole for predatory educators did not get closed and still remains: Current Illinois law allows sex between teachers and students older than 17. HB 3290 seeks to close this loophole; last week, however, HB 3290 was assigned to the Rules and Regulations Committee, often known in lawmaking circles as the place where bills are sent to never see the light of day.

Tania Haigh, founder of the KIDS TOO Movement and cofounder of Parents Against Child Sex Abuse (PAXA), says: "Parents send their kids and teens to learn in a safe school environment—not to get preyed on by adults. We want Illinois lawmakers to prioritize protecting all students over the bureaucratic status quo that gets in the way of progress. It's time to stop making schools an easy pathway for predators."

To learn more about KIDS TOO, join the movement, and sign the KIDS TOO petition to support criminalizing educators who have sex with students, visit KIDSTOO.ORG.

About the KIDS TOO Movement

KIDS TOO, powered by Parents Against Child Sex Abuse (PAXA), has a mission to empower parents in child protection with a focus on predators. The movement arms parents to elevate child protection in the areas of online safety, child sexual abuse and child poverty. Visit KIDSTOO.ORG for more information.

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