Tri States Public Radio Staff
Illinois Supreme Court Ruling
Thu August 9, 2012
Schools Must Share Info About Employee Sex Abuse Allegations
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled a school district that suspended a teacher because of allegations of sexual misconduct had a duty to warn another district where the teacher later found work.
Jon White was twice suspended from his teaching job in Normal. But the McLean County school district did not disclose that when the Urbana schools asked to verify White's employment.
White was eventually convicted of abusing eight girls in Urbana and two in Normal. He will spend most of the next 30 years in prison.
Sean Britton argued before the court in January on behalf of victims. He said the McLean County schools were "passing" the teacher off to become someone else's problem.
"That's what passing is. It's an effort to take a teacher who has problems, who has issues -- get him out of your school district; get him off into another school district; God protect those children," Britton said.
In a 5-2 decision, the court ruled that was unacceptable.
The majority says its decision was based in part on the emphasis Illinois law places on protecting children from sex offenders.
Thanks to Illinois Public Radio