Valley View School District 365U will soon implement a state-mandated child sexual abuse awareness program for students in pre school through fifth grade.
Required by new legislation known as “Erin’s Law” which the Illinois legislature OKd last year, the program includes two preliminary meetings to explain content and procedures to parents and the community, age-appropriate 45-minute sessions in every pre K-5 classroom in the district provided by experts from Guardian Angel Community Services, and training for VVSD staff members.
“We teach children on bullying intervention, stranger danger, internet safety and drug abuse yet we fail to give them a voice if someone is violating them,” said Erin Merryn, the nationally recognized champion of child sexual abuse prevention whose efforts led to the passage of the new Illinois law. “Unfortunately without being educated, children will be repeatedly abused for years because often the only message they get comes from their abuser threatening them into silence.”
VVSD parents are receiving letters this week briefly explaining the new law and how Valley View plans on complying with the mandate. The letters include an invitation to one of two community meetings at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 29 at the VVSD Administration Center, 755 Dalhart Avenue in Romeoville or 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at Jamie McGee Elementary School, 179 Commonwealth Drive in Bolingbrook.
Spanish language materials and interpreters as well as child care will be available at both sessions. No reservations are necessary.
Faculty and staff training has already begun.
Student sessions will begin in February.
For more information on VVSD’s plans to implement the new law, please contact Michele Bochnak at BochnakML@vvsd.org or 815-886-2700 Ext. 297.