November 15, 2023
November 15, 2023
Dear District 67 and District 115 Faculty, Staff, and Families,
Earlier today, I sent a message regarding a teacher dismissal. Since then, we have received questions regarding our hiring practices. I appreciate hearing from our District families on this important topic. Rather than respond to each email separately, I am reaching out to all District families with this information.
Our Hiring Practices
First and foremost, the recruiting, hiring, and vetting process used by Districts 67 and 115 emphasizes student safety and security. The Human Resources Department screens new employees thoroughly. This includes fingerprint background checks that provide reports of criminal offenses from the Illinois State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and checks of the Sex Offender, Murderer, and Violent Offender Against Youth databases. Our hiring managers also conduct reference checks with prior supervisors and employers.
In addition, new Illinois legislation called Faith’s Law, effective July 1, 2023, requires that all schools conduct an employment history review of applicants who will have direct contact with children and to determine whether an applicant has previously been the subject of a sexual misconduct allegation that resulted in an employment action. Faith’s Law also requires applicants to self-disclose this information.
Resources and Support
I had the opportunity to speak with DPM faculty, staff, and administrators today. It was a difficult day for many, and they are processing the news in different ways. It is similar for some of our students. Please know that we have increased the presence of our school counselors at DPM by placing them at standing desks in the school hallways for the balance of the week. Students at the high school in need of support should reach out to their Core Team counselor.
As both educator and parent, I am empathetic with those who have reached out seeking resources to help them talk to their students. Please find information in the links below.
As I shared earlier today, we encourage anyone with knowledge of misconduct, past or present, to email HumanResources@lfschools.net or contact local law enforcement. Students at Lake Forest High School may also use the Confidential Reporting Tool. The Text For Help crisis hotline is also available at 844-823-5323 (community code: LAKECO).
Thank you for your continued partnership,