Tribune highlighted the problem of school districts not being able to find out if prospective teachers had been found to have sexually abused students.
In 2009, eight years after bringing too many boxes home my legislative office, I was doing some throwing away.
I found a roll call on an amendment I offered on June 7, 1994.
It was my second year of the second half of my 16-year legislative career.
The bill was about education, so I filed an amendment that would require the DCFS to“maintain a central registry of all cases in which the Director of Children and Family Services, following an investigation and hearing as provided in this Act or the Department’s rules, determines that a person who is certified as a school teacher or administrator in Illinois is a perpetrator of sexual or physical abuse of a child, “the Department shall send the name of such person, by mail, to the chief administrator and president of the school board of each school district in this state and to the chief education officer of each state, the District of“The Department shall make available to members of the public, upon request and without charge, copies of any information contained in the register maintained under this Section.”
I think the amendment was inspired by a former principal of Lundahl Junior High School in Crystal Lake named Virgil Lauglin, who led one of my honorary pages into a life of homosexuality, even molesting him in his Lundahl office, but it may have been a Lundahl teacher whom DCFS found had abused a student either sexually or physically or both.
When the “problem” with the principal was discovered, he was allowed by Grade School District 47 to quietly resign and move to Iowa.
Exporting such “problems” or covering them up since then would have been a lot more difficult had my amendment be adopted in 1994.
Needless to say, the teachers’ unions killed the bill.
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Now, State Senator Craig Wilcox reports,
Helping schools avoid hiring previous sexual offenders
School employees who commit sexual offenses against students should not be able to simply move on and find work at a new school.
A new law aims to make sure of that.
House Bill 4316 creates new requirements and systems for reviewing the employment history for all school positions that involve direct contact with students.
This includes a template developed by the Illinois State Board of Education for entering and storing information on school employees and applicants.
The new law also creates specific provisions for how parents are to be notified when students are victims of sexual offenses.
The legislation was filed in response to a sexual abuse scandal within the Chicago Public Schools system a few years ago.
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Only two besides myself were brave enough to vote for it: Bernie Pedersen and Al Salvi, husband of U.S. Senate hopeful Kathy Salvi. Two, Terry Parke and future Congressman Jerry Weller, voted “Present.”
One of the best pieces of legislation I ever lost and earned me membership in Mike Madigan’s “Hundred Club,” bills that received over 100 “No” votes.
He had a plaque in his office dedicated to those legislators who lost more than 100 votes.