SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has signed a new law that will require schools to create a policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment of students because of race.
Senate Bill 90 was filed by Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford).
“Here in Illinois, we will not tolerate racism or discrimination within schools – period,” West said. “But with incidents of hateful conduct on the rise across our country, we must do more to protect students and teachers. That’s why the Racism-Free Schools Act is so important because it will not only require districts to create and implement a policy on discrimination and harassment but also help the state track incidents of racism so we can better understand and address concerning conduct. I want to thank the advocates who helped craft this important legislation as well as Gov. JB Pritzker for signing the bill into law.”
The Illinois Department of Human Rights is required to model a training program to prevent discrimination and harassment in elementary and high schools.
The law would also make the failure of a school to take disciplinary action against a harassing student a civil rights violation and applies to public, private, and charter schools in Illinois.
The Illinois State Board of Education is required to create a data collection system to report on allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against students.
Critics have blamed a greater focus on identity politics in American discourse and school curricula for giving rise to racial animosity.