Lightford 051820 2SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to keep teen parents and teenage survivors of domestic and sexual violence from dropping out of school, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) passed legislation that would protect their privacy and safety.

“Being a parent is difficult at any age, and surviving domestic or sexual violence is already traumatizing,” Lightford said. “We want all students to feel safe and to get the support they need to succeed with a good education.”

House Bill 3223 was developed with support from the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation and the Shriver Center to reduce the impact of domestic and sexual violence on the education of grades K-12 students who are parents, expectant parents or survivors of sexual or domestic violence.

The law would:

  • Requires that schools maintain policies, procedures, and protocols in place that ensure children and students who are parents, expectant parents, or survivors of domestic or sexual violence are identified by schools in a manner respectful of their privacy and safety, treated with dignity and regard, and provided the protection, instruction, and related accommodations and services necessary to enable them to meet state educational standards.
  • Require consideration be given to a student’s status as a parent, expectant parent or survivor of domestic or sexual violence as a factor in suspension or expulsion decisions.
  • Require such students be provided home instruction when appropriate due to health or safety concerns of the student or their child.
  • Make complications and treatments relating to these statuses’ valid causes for absences.
  • Require schools to revise policies to ensure the success of such students, with a model policy laid out by the new Ensuring Success in School Task Force.

“Teen parents and survivors of violence should know they always have support from their school,” Lightford said. 

HB 3223 has passed the Senate floor and now heads back to the House for concurrence.