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Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Court Orders of Protection, Restraint or No Contact

Section 704.4 | Board Report 08-0625-PO2 | Date Adopted June 25, 2008

Policy PDF  English

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER RECOMMENDS

That the Board Rescind Board Report 99-0728-PO2 and adopt a new Policy on Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Court Orders of Protection, Restraint or No Contact.

PURPOSE

This policy addresses the legal obligations imposed on school employees by the Illinois School Code, Domestic Violence Act, Civil No Contact Order Act, Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Act and the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, as they relate to domestic and dating violence. It recognizes that children who see their parents and caretakers act violently at home are learning that it is acceptable to use force to resolve conflicts. Violent homes have been described as the training ground for the violence that pervades our society. Chicago Public School employees shall work to counteract this destructive message by creating a safe haven at school where children are protected and encouraged to use peaceful means to solve problems.

POLICY TEXT

I. Introduction

Children who witness domestic violence often exhibit behavioral and emotional problems at school, including aggression, disobedience, poor social skills, greater approval of violence as a means to solve problems, depression and lack of self-confidence. These children are significantly more likely to have frequent absences and to be suspended, twice as likely to visit the school nurse for social or emotional reasons, and more than seven times as likely to be referred to a speech pathologist. Adult domestic violence also greatly increases the likelihood that children in the family will be abused and neglected. Due to the negative impact that domestic violence has on children’s ability to learn and develop, this policy requires school staff to provide information about supportive services to the abused parent, to assess the risk to students who witness domestic violence at home, and to provide student support services.

This policy also recognizes the link between dating violence and domestic violence – young women age 16 to 24 are at highest risk for domestic violence. In a 2001 survey from the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five high school girls reported physical and/or sexual abuse by a dating partner. Forty-three percent of students who reported dating violence in this survey said it occurred in a school building or on school grounds. This policy enlists educators to identify victims of dating violence and acquaintance rape to ensure that they are protected at school and that they receive appropriate counseling. Educators are also asked to identify perpetrators of dating violence and to intervene to stop the violence by imposing discipline, establishing behavior intervention plans, and making appropriate counseling referrals.

II. Definitions

Acquaintance Rape describes sexual assault by a perpetrator who is known to the victim, but who has no family, household or dating relationship with the victim.

Behavior Intervention Plan for the purpose of this policy is implemented for a student who engages in dating violence that impedes his/her learning or that of others. It includes positive behavioral interventions and supports, behavior management techniques, procedures for crisis intervention, and other strategies to address the behaviors and minimize their impact.

Civil No Contact Order is a court order from a civil, not criminal court, which requires a perpetrator of sexual assault, who is not in a dating or family relationship with the victim, to stay away from her/him.

Court Order, for the purpose of this policy, includes Orders of Protection, Civil No Contact Orders, Temporary Restraining Orders and Injunctions.

Dating Violence is violent or controlling behavior that an individual uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. It can include emotional, physical and sexual abuse, stalking, yelling, threatening, name-calling, threats of suicide, obsessive phone calling or text messaging, extreme jealousy and possessiveness.

Domestic Violence occurs when one person in a family or household (the perpetrator) exercises power and control over another family or household member (the victim) that causes the victim harm, induces fear, or forces the victim to submit to the perpetrator’s will. It can include physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic abuse.

Domestic Violence Act is the statute adopted by the Illinois General Assembly to “recognize domestic violence as a serious crime against the individual and society which produces family disharmony in thousands of Illinois families, promotes a pattern of escalating violence which frequently culminates in intra-family homicide, and creates an emotional atmosphere that is not conducive to healthy childhood development.”

Functional Assessment of Behavior is a method of observation that identifies the antecedents that trigger a problem behavior and the consequences that maintain that behavior. The assessment is used to develop a Behavior Intervention Plan for students who engage in dating violence and other problem behaviors.

OSS means the Office of Specialized Services.

OSS Staff for the purpose of this policy includes school social workers, counselors, nurses and other employees whom the principal designates to assess the risk and offer assistance to a victim of domestic or dating violence.

Order of Protection is a Court Order from a criminal or civil court that is designed to protect family and household members and “persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship” from physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, or interference with personal liberty.

Safety Plan is a strategy implemented by school staff to protect a student from dating violence that impedes her/his learning and healthy emotional development.

Student Sexual Harassment means any un-welcomed sexual advance or request for sexual favors or conduct of a sexual nature by a student, which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with another student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment.

Temporary Restraining Order or Injunction is an order entered by a civil court which directs a person to stay away from a non-related person whom he or she has physically harmed. A Civil No Contact Order, by contrast, directs the perpetrator to stay away from the person he or she sexually assaulted.

III. Court Orders

  • Principal's Receipt of a Court Order

    When the principal/designee receives a copy of an Order of Protection, Civil No Contact Order, Temporary Restraining Order, or Injunction (collectively “Court Order”) naming the parent, guardian or student as a protected person, the Principal shall take all reasonable measures to comply with that Court Order and to ensure the safety of students, who are named in the order, while they are in the school, including:

    1. Ensuring that the school clerk:
      • Enters information about the Court Order on the legal alert field on IMPACT and makes a notation about the order on the student’s emergency information form; retains a copy of the Court Order in the student’s temporary record, and, if the student transfers, ensures that the order is forwarded to the new school;
      • Asks the parent to indicate on the emergency information form any special arrangements or restrictions for early dismissal or pick up of students.
      • Asks the parent whether she or he has other children attending different schools, and if so, faxes a copy of the Court Order to the principal of that school.
    2. Informing appropriate staff (such as the classroom teacher(s), security personnel, assistant principal, counselor, school clerk), of the order on a need-to-know basis only, and advising them to keep this information confidential;
    3. Directing any school staff responsible for releasing students from school early or supervising field trips or after-school activities to check the emergency information form before releasing the child to any person.
  • Referral for Support Services

    When the principal/designee receives a copy of a Court Order naming the parent, guardian or student as a protected person, the principal/designee shall:

    1. Inform the parent that student counseling services are available, and shall ask the parent to sign a Consent for Counseling Services Form (Attachment A) for any student under age 12.
    2. Complete a Request for Student Support Services Form (Attachment A-1) for any student under age 12 whose parent has consented to counseling, and for any student over age 12 without regard to parental consent. Up to five 45-minute counseling sessions may be provided to students age 12 to 17 without parental consent.
    3. Follow the steps listed in Section V of this policy, if the Court Order addresses dating violence or requires a student to stay away from another student in the school.
  • Requests for Student Information

    If the school has received a copy of an Order of Protection naming the parent, guardian or student as a protected person, no school employee shall release any information about the child, including the child’s attendance at the school or his/her address, or any of the child’s school records, to the person named as the perpetrator in the Order of Protection. NOTE: No information should be released, even if the Order of Protection does not prohibit release of school records.

  • Violations of Court Orders

    Whenever the provisions of a Court Order are violated on school grounds or during school activities, the principal/designee shall call the police (9-1-1) and complete a CPS Incident Report. If the principal/designee is uncertain whether a violation has occurred, he or she shall call the local police district or the CPS Law Department for assistance.

IV. Domestic violence

  • Parent/Guardian Reports of Domestic Violence When No Order of Protection Has Been Obtained

    1. If a parent or guardian discloses domestic violence to a school employee, that employee shall notify the principal/ designee.
    2. The principal/designee shall immediately refer the parent or guardian to a school counselor, social worker, nurse, or other employee who can offer assistance to a victim of domestic violence (hereinafter, “OSS staff”).
    3. The designated OSS staff shall:
      • Ask the parent/guardian whether she or he is receiving services to address the domestic violence.
      • If the parent/guardian is not receiving services to address the domestic violence, give the parent/guardian a Domestic Violence Safety Plan handout in her/his primary language, if possible. Attached are the latest versions of the Plan from the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence in English (Attachment B), Arabic (Attachment C), Bosnian (Attachment D), Korean (Attachment E), Mandarin (Attachment F), Polish (Attachment G), Russian (Attachment H), and Spanish (Attachment I).
      • Offer the parent/guardian a private space with a telephone to call the City of Chicago Domestic Violence Helpline, 1-877-TO-END-DV (1-877-863-6338); TTY 1-877-863-6339.
      • Ask the parent whether any of these factors, which indicate heightened risk for children, is present:
        • weapons in the home;
        • a child witnessed the violence and/or attempted to intervene;
        • any adult in the home abuses alcohol or drugs;
        • frequent or severe attacks by the abusing partner.
      • Decide, based upon the answers to these questions and any other relevant factors, whether he or she has a reasonable suspicion that the student is being abused or neglected. If so, call the DCFS Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-25-ABUSE, and follow the procedures set out in the Board’s Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, Board Report 05-0126-PO3, as amended or modified.
      • Ask the parent to sign a Consent for Counseling Services Form (Attachment A) for the student before the parent leaves the school.
      • Complete a Request for Student Support Services Form (Attachment A-1) for any student under age 12 whose parent has consented to counseling, and for any student over age 12 without regard to parental consent. Up to five 45-minute counseling sessions may be provided to students age 12 to 17 without parental consent.
      • Provide student support services when properly authorized as described herein.
  • Student Reports of Domestic Violence When No Order of Protection Has Been Obtained

    1. If a student reports domestic violence in his/her family to any school employee, that employee shall either:
      • Determine whether to call the Child Abuse Hotline by following the steps listed in Section IV.A.3.d. and e. above. If the employee has reasonable suspicion that the student is being abused or neglected, he or she shall call the Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE, and follow the procedures set out in the Board’s Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, Board Report 05-0126-PO3, as amended or modified.
      • If the employee does not call the Child Abuse Hotline because he or she does not reasonably suspect that the student is being abused or neglected, the employee shall notify the principal/designee, who will complete the steps listed in the following paragraph.
    2. When a principal receives a report of domestic violence, he or she shall assign OSS staff to schedule a meeting with the parent whom the student identifies as the victim of domestic violence to discuss the student’s statement and assess the risk to the student. If the parent discloses domestic violence, that employee shall follow the procedures set out in Section IV.A. above.
  • Suspicions of Domestic Violence Affecting Students

    1. School personnel who suspect that a student’s caretaker is a victim of domestic violence shall either:
      • Determine whether to call the Child Abuse Hotline by following the steps listed in Section IV.A.3.d. and e. above. If the employee has reasonable suspicion that the student is being abused or neglected, he or she shall call the Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE, and follow the procedures set out in the Board’s Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, Board Report 05-0126-PO3, as amended or modified; or
      • If the employee does not call the Child Abuse Hotline because he or she does not reasonably suspect that the student is being abused or neglected, the employee shall notify the principal/designee, who will complete the steps listed in the following paragraph.
    2. When a principal is advised that a school employee suspects domestic violence in a student’s family, the principal shall assign an OSS staff member to talk to the student to determine whether the student or his/her parent is in danger based, in part, on the factors listed in Section IV.A.3.d. and e. above. The principal may call the Office of Specialized Services, Crisis Intervention Unit, at (773) 553-1792 to request assistance.
    3. If the student, parent/guardian discloses domestic violence, the school employee shall follow the procedures set out in Section IV.A. or B. above.

V. Dating Violence and Acquaintance Rape Involving CPS Students

  • Reports or Suspicions of Dating Violence or Acquaintance Rape

    Any school employee who is notified by a parent, guardian or student, or who reasonably suspects, that a student has been the victim of dating violence or acquaintance rape shall immediately report that information to the principal/designee.

  • Principal Responsibilities

    1. If a student is the victim of dating violence or acquaintance rape on school grounds or during school activities, the principal/designee shall:
      • Follow the investigation and incident reporting procedures in the Student Code of Conduct (SCC) and implement appropriate interventions and consequences.
      • If the student has physical injuries or is in imminent danger of serious physical harm, advise the student that her/his parent/guardian will be notified, and address any safety concerns the student may have about parental notification. Notify the parent/guardian of the victim of the incident and injuries, and ask the parent/guardian to sign a Consent for Counseling Form (Attachment A) for the student.
      • Regardless of the outcome of the SCC investigation or the existence of physical injuries, ask OSS staff to inform the actual or alleged victim that support services are available, as described in Section V.C. below.
      • Note that if a victim or her/his parent/guardian believes the intervention/consequence is insufficient to address the misconduct or protect the victim, they have a right to submit an appeal of the principal’s decision, as provided in the Board’s Policy on Non-Discrimination, Title IX and Sexual Harassment, Board Report 08-0123-PO4, as amended or modified.
    2. If the report involves dating violence or acquaintance rape off school grounds, which results in a serious disruption of the victim’s education, the principal/ designee shall follow the steps in Section V.B.1. above. If the perpetrator attends a different school, the principal shall notify that school’s principal of the incident and ask him/her to file appropriate misconduct charges against the perpetrator.
  • OSS Responsibilities in Providing Support Services to Victims of Dating Violence or Acquaintance Rape

    OSS staff who are assigned to provide information to an actual or alleged victim of dating violence or acquaintance rape shall, at a minimum:

    1. Give the student victim the number of the City of Chicago Domestic Violence Helpline (1-877-863-6338); TTY 1-877-863-6339.
    2. Encourage the student to talk to his/her parent/guardian about the alleged violence.
    3. Explain to any student who is under age of 12 that counseling is available to her/him, if her/his parent consents, and give the student a Consent for Counseling Form for the parent to sign.
    4. Explain to any student age 12 to 17 that he/she may attend up to five 45-minute counseling sessions without parental notification or permission. Give the student a Consent for Counseling Form for the parent to sign, if additional counseling sessions are needed.
    5. Complete a Request for Student Support Services Form (Attachment A-1) for any student under age 12 whose parent has consented to counseling, and for any student over age 12 without regard to parental consent.
    6. When appropriate, create a Safety Plan for the victim and also conduct a Functional Assessment and create a Behavior Intervention Plan (FA/BIP) for any perpetrator who attends the school.
    7. Provide counseling or social work services to the student when properly authorized as described herein.
  • Safety Transfers

    If a student’s safety is jeopardized or the student’s education is being disrupted by allowing the victim and perpetrator to remain in the same school, the perpetrator may be subject to a safety transfer in accordance with the Board’s Enrollment and Transfer Policy, Board Report 05-0824-PO3, as amended or modified. A perpetrator may also be subject to a disciplinary transfer as a consequence of inappropriate behavior, as specified in the Student Code of Conduct. To implement a safety or disciplinary transfer, schools must satisfy the approval requirements set out in the Board’s Enrollment and Transfer Policy.

VI. Provision of Student Support Services

Social workers and counselors who provide student support services are subject to the confidentiality provisions in the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act:

  • In general, information revealed by a student during a counseling session shall remain confidential. Disclosure of that information is limited to the following:
    1. When the information causes the social worker/counselor to reasonably suspect child abuse or neglect, he or she must call the DCFS Child Abuse Hotline.
    2. When and to the extent the social worker/counselor, in his/her sole discretion, determines that disclosure is necessary to protect the student or another person from a clear, imminent risk of serious physical or mental injury, disease or death inflicted by the student or another person.
    3. Upon request, a parent of a student under age 12 is entitled to review and copy their student’s counseling records.
    4. Upon request, the parent of any student age 12 to 17 may receive information about the student’s current physical and mental condition, diagnosis, treatment needs, services provided, and services needed, including any medication. The social worker/counselor may also allow the parent to review and copy the student’s counseling records if the student consents, or if the social worker/counselor does not find any compelling reason to deny the parent access to these records.
  • Before disclosing any information, the counselor/social worker should attempt to notify the student and address any safety concerns the student may have about the disclosure

VII. Training and Curriculum Resources

The Chicago Board of Education is committed to addressing barriers to learning by supporting activities designed to promote health, prevent disease, improve the quality of life for students, and decrease health disparities within the district. The Office of Specialized Services coordinates a variety of support services and school health programs to meet students’ social, emotional and physical health needs.

Comprehensive health education resources designed to address the leading causes of death and disability in the United States are available, in print and online, to all CPS attendance centers (K-12). CPS teachers may access over 300 lesson plans aligned with the National Health Education Standards and the Illinois Learning Standards.

Information and resources on best practices in responding to domestic and dating violence may be requested from the City of Chicago Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence, 333 South State Street, Suite 550, Chicago, Illinois 60604, 312-747-9972.

School administrators are strongly encouraged to develop working relationships with their local domestic violence agency, shelter or rape crisis center. These providers offer support services to students who have experienced dating or domestic violence and can partner with schools to provide violence prevention programs.

Policy References

Amends/Rescinds Rescinds 99-0728-PO2
Cross References  
Legal References 105 ILCS 5/10-22.24b, 5/14-1.09.1, 5/14-1.09.2, 5/14B-2, 5/34-18.6a; 405 ILCS 5/3-501; 705 ILCS 405/2-3; 740 ILCS 22/102 et seq.; 740 ILCS 110/11 et seq.; 750 ILCS 60/203, 214, 222.

Policy and Procedures

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