Faith's Law

Faith's Law is named after prevention advocate and child sexual abuse survivor, Faith Colson, who graduated from an Illinois high school in the early 2000s. Faith was sexually abused by a teacher at her high school. Years later, during the course of legal proceedings related to the abuse, Faith learned that several adults within her high school suspected that the teacher's relationship with her was inappropriate but did not take appropriate action to report their concerns. As a result of her experiences, Faith pushed for change to state laws related to educator sexual misconduct in K-12 schools. Faith's Law was passed in 2021 and expanded in 2023 and now serves as a comprehensive set of protections for students and their families.

All Mokena School District employees are expected to maintain high standards in their job performance, demonstrate integrity and honesty, be considerate and cooperative, and maintain professional and appropriate relationships with students, parents/guardians, staff members, and others.

Beginning on July 1, 2023, all school districts in Illinois are required to conduct a comprehensive employment history review for every new hire. Mokena School District 159 conducts a comprehensive background check in compliance with Illinois School Code and Board Policy which includes:

  • Fingerprint-based checks through (a) the Illinois State Police (ISP) for criminal history records information (CHRI) pursuant to the Uniform Conviction Information Act (20 ILCS 2635/1), and (b) the FBI national crime information databases pursuant to the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (P.L. 109-248);

  • A check of the Illinois Sex Offender Registry; and

  • A check of the Illinois Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry

  • A Faith's Law Comprehensive Employment Review. The District uses Verifient to assist in managing this process.

Professional and appropriate employee conduct are important Board goals that impact the quality of a safe learning environment and the school community, increasing students’ ability to learn and the District’s ability to educate. To protect students from sexual misconduct by employees, and employees from the appearance of impropriety, State law also recognizes the importance for District employees to constantly maintain professional and appropriate relationships with students by following established expectations and guidelines for employee-student boundaries. Many breaches of employee-student boundaries do not rise to the level of criminal behavior but do pose a potential risk to student safety and impact the quality of a safe learning environment. Repeated violations of employee-student boundaries may indicate the grooming of a student for sexual abuse. As bystanders, employees may know of concerning behaviors that no one else is aware of, so their training on:

  1. preventing, recognizing, reporting, and responding to child sexual abuse and grooming behavior; 

  2. this policy; and 

  3. Federal and state reporting requirements is essential to maintaining the Board’s goal of professional and appropriate conduct.

Employees, parents, or any other individual may report prohibited behaviors and/or boundary violations pursuant to Board policies 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure; 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure; and 5:90, Abused and Neglected Child Reporting.

Public Act 102-0702 also requires notices to be provided to parents/guardians and the applicable student when there's an alleged act of sexual misconduct, and makes other changes to the process schools must follow when handling allegations of sexual misconduct. Should situations arise which require notification, Mokena 159 will notify any affected parents/guardians in compliance with Faith's Law.

Complaint Managers:

Dr. Kristin Johnson, Asst. Superintendent

11244 Willowcrest Lane

Mokena, IL 60448


Dr. Teri Shaw, CSBO

11244 Willowcrest Lane

Mokena, IL 60448