This year Senator Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles) championed legislation that addresses bullying and violence in schools by increasing reporting requirements for incidents that result in a suspension or expulsion. On August 6, Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law.
Senate Bill 633 requires that beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must collect data on incidents of violence in school settings or during school-sanctioned activities that resulted in a student or students receiving an out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or transfer to an alternative school setting. ISBE also must report the number of incidents on each school’s official Illinois School Report Card.
“Bullying and school violence is on the rise, and our kids and their parents need to know they are safe,” said Sen. DeWitte, a Chief Co-Sponsor of the bipartisan legislation. “By strengthening reporting requirements and adding a new layer of transparency to school district online profiles, parents will have easy access to important safety information regarding their child’s school.”
According to a recent School Survey on Crime and Safety administered by the U.S. Department of Education, an estimated 962,300 incidents of violence occurred in U.S. public schools across the country in 2017-2018. Seventy-one percent of schools reported having at least one violent incident during the 2017-2018 school year.