Faith's Law

Legislation Overview

Faith's Law is named after prevention and child sexual abuse survivor Faith Colson, an Illinois high school graduate in the early 2000s. Faith's Law was passed by the Illinois General Assembly as two separate pieces of legislation:

  • Public Act 102-0676 which establishes the definition of sexual misconduct within the School Code and outlined the requirements for schools to develop and post employee code of professional conduct policies.
  • Public Act 102-0702 which adds employment history reviews as part of the hiring and vetting process for school and school contractors, requires notices to be provided to parents/guardians and the applicable student when there's an alleged act of sexual misconduct, and makes other changes to the process schools must follow when handling allegations of sexual misconduct.

Relative Resources for Families to Review

Dunlap CUSD #323 has adopted policies and procedures to implement these standards which are described below. Families with questions about Faith's Law are encouraged to reference the following resources:

  • Sexual Abuse Response & Prevention Guide
  • Faith's Law Guidance & FAQ
    •  Both documents were released by the Illinois State Board of Education on June 12, 2023.
  • Board Policy 5:90: Abused and Neglected Child Reporting
  • Board Policy 5:120: Employee Ethics: Code of Professional Conduct and Conflict of Interest

Expectations for Teachers and Staff

Dunlap CUSD #323 Teachers and/or Staff members are expected to maintain high standards in their school relationships, to demonstrate integrity and honesty, to be considerate and cooperative, and to maintain professional and appropriate relationships with students, parents/guardians, staff members and others. For the purpose of this reference information, the term “Teachers and/or Staff” refers to Dunlap CUSD #323 faculty, staff, teacher candidates, volunteers or other agents acting on behalf of the district.

Expectations below are applicable to all staff, in compliance with Illinois School Code provisions enacted under Public Act 102-0676, referred to as Faith’s Law.  This document describes the expectations for Teachers and/or Staff regarding maintaining a professional relationship with students, including but not limited to, expectations for staff-student boundaries, and recognizing the age and developmental level of students served.  Expectations for Teachers and/or Staff include the following minimum standards:

  • All Teachers and/or Staff subject to these Expectations are expected to adhere to the core principles, values, and responsibilities applicable to Illinois educators outlined in the Code of Ethics for Illinois Educators, 23 Ill. Adm. Part 22.  The Expectations contained in this document are in addition to all applicable federal and state law and regulations and applicable Dunlap CUSD #323 Board of Education Policies.
  • All Teachers and/or Staff are explicitly prohibited from engaging in grooming behaviors or sexual misconduct with students.
    • Sexual misconduct is any act, including, but not limited to, any verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic communication or physical activity, by an employee or agent of Dunlap CUSD #323 with direct contact with a student that is directed toward or with a student to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the student.  Such an act includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
      • A sexual or romantic invitation,
      • Dating or soliciting a date,
      • Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialogue,
      • Making sexually suggestive comments that are directed toward or with a student,
      • Self-disclosure or physcial exposure of a sexual, romantic, or erotic nature, and/or
      • A sexual, indecent, romantic, or erotic contact with the student.
    • This definition and standard will apply to Teachers and/or Staff in schools.  However, all other applicable laws, regulations, Board Policies, procedures, practices or requirements also continue to apply.
  • Transporting Students
    • If transportation is provided to students, Teachers and/or Staff should be accompanied by another Teacher or Staff member when transporting a student.
    • Teachers and/or Staff should not transport students in their privately owned vehicle unless the Teacher and/or Staff member has obtained the prior permission of the building administrator or superintendent.
    • When transporting a student in a privately-owned vehicle, permission from the parent/ guardian should be obtained and documented in writing.  If it is not feasible to obtain advance permission or notify a parent/guardian  prior to transporting the student (such as an emergency situation or when a parent/guardian cannot be contacted), Teachers and/or Staff should take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the student; within a reasonable period of time following transportation of a student, Teacher and/or Staff should document what actions were taken and notify both the building administrator and the parent/guardian in a follow up communication.
    • See Board Policy 4:110 Transportation for additional information.
  • Taking or Possessing a Photo or Video of a Student
    • Teachers and/or Staff are not permitted to take a photo or video of a student for their personal use.  Photos and images of students for school-district sponsored activities used to further Dunlap CUSD #323’s mission are permitted as follows:
      • All photos/video images of students shall be used in accordance with the authorization provided by parents/guardians to the Dunlap CUSD #323.
      • A photo or video of a student is a FERPA-protected education record when the photo or video is
        • (1) directly related to a student, and
        • (2) maintained by an educational agency or a party acting for the agency or institution. 
        These images may reveal personally identifiable information about students.  A photo or video taken by Teacher and/or Staff in their professional capacity (such as a photo or video taken in a classroom) is entitled to protections as any other FERPA-protected student record.  These images may not be disclosed without consent or as otherwise permitted by law.  These types of images should not be posted to a Teacher and/or Staff member’s personal media accounts for any reason.
      • A photo or video would not be considered “directly related to a student” if, for example, a student’s image is incidental or captured as part of a background, or a student is shown participating in school activities open to the public without a specific focus on any individual.  
      • A photo or video of students taken by Teachers and/or Staff who are also parents/guardians may not be used for district purposes without appropriate consent.
    • See Board Policy 5:125 Personal Technology and Social Media; Usage and Conduct for additional information.
  • Meeting with a student or contacting a student outside of a Teacher and/or Staff member’s professional roles.
    • Teachers and/or Staff are generally not permitted to meet with a student or contact a student as a Teacher and/or Staff member outside that individual’s professional role.
    • Teachers and/or Staff are strictly prohibited from using any form of communication with students (including but not limited to e-mails, letters, notes, text messages, phone calls, conversations) that includes any subject matter that would be deemed unprofessional and inappropriate between Teachers and/or Staff and a student.
    • It is understood that Teachers and/or Staff live and work in our dynamic communities and may encounter students in the context of the Teacher and/or Staff member’s personal relationships outside of school.  All Teachers and/or Staff are expected to avoid crossing a line that results in an actual or perceived inappropriate relationship.

Violations to any of these standards or failure to report a violation of these standards may subject an employee to discipline, up to and including dismissal from employment.  Other individuals (e.g. student teachers, volunteers, contractors) may be subject to corrective action or other appropriate consequences in accordance with applicable standards.


Allegations of possible violations of this section should be made the following office:

Dunlap CUSD #323

Attn: Matt Andrews

400 S Fourth Street

Dunlap, IL 61525

Or email at [email protected].

This reporting requirement is in additional to the individual’s requirements to report suspected child abuse under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) and in compliance with Title IX of the Federal Educational Amendments of 1972.  Dunlap CUSD #323 will review the allegations pursuant to this section and applicable policy.


Individuals covered by this section are required to participate in annual training, including but not limited to, federal and state reporting requirements pursuant to Title IX and Abuse & Neglected Mandated Reporting, the legal definition of Sexual Misconduct, Dunlap CUSD #323 Faith’s Law Training that outlines:

  • Faith's Law Legislation
  • Review of the expanded definition of "sexual misconduct"
  • Links to Faith's Law Guidance & FAQ and Sexual Abuse Response and Prevention Resource Guides from ISBE
  • Expectations for Staff Members
    • Including reporting suspected cases of sexual misconduct
  • Review of the Illinois Educator Code of Ethics
  • Maintaining Professional Relationships with Students

Additionally, as is required per Faith’s Law legislation, Dunlap CUSD #323 continues to provide relative and meaningful professional development for staff to ensure we are empowered with knowledge of the best practices to help students learn and grow. The district continues to provide professional development in the areas of:

  • Multitiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
  • Trauma-Informed Practices
  • The Neurosequential Model

The Behavior Intervention Support Team (BIST) model philosophy used at all of our elementary and middle schools is focused on providing students with the individualized support needed in order to be successful in school. BIST looks to those who may not exude the behaviors and expectations as having skill deficits, and needing support in order to stay regulated and ready to learn. Our staff contiues to grow it’s capacity of this tier-1 level of support to ensure all students are focused and present in classroom activities.

If you have any specific questions on staff professional development, please contact Matt Andrews at [email protected] or (309) 243-8700.