In the absence of a trusted adult, Safe2Help Illinois offers students a safe, confidential way in which to share information that might help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence or other threats to school safety. The goal is to get students to “Seek Help Before Harm.”
Safe2Help Illinois is a 24/7 program where students can use a free app, text/phone, and website to share information on school safety issues in a confidential environment.
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention. When someone is in crisis, they can text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor who will help them move from a hot moment to cool and calm.
Erin’s Law, Ann Marie’s Law, and Faith’s Law
Woodridge School District 68 recognizes that partnering with families to promote positive social-emotional development allows our students to engage in problem-solving, demonstrate curiosity, and build productive relationships with others, further preparing our students for college and career readiness. The state has multiple laws related to the safety and social-emotional well-being of students, including Erin’s Law, Ann Marie’s Law, and Faith’s Law. Erin’s Law was passed as a concerted effort to teach children about ways to keep them safe from sexual abuse, requiring that schools educate students on safe touches and unsafe touches, safe secrets and unsafe secrets, and how to “get away and tell a trusted adult today.” Ann Marie’s Law mandates that all Illinois public schools provide age-appropriate suicide and depression awareness and prevention education programs for students. Faith’s Law addresses sexual abuse prevention and responses in schools, with new procedural, policy, and reporting requirements.
In our elementary schools, students will be receiving instruction over the course of the school year related to Erin’s Law from the classroom teacher and school social worker utilizing the Child Protection Unit from Second Step, a program that provides instruction in social and emotional learning with units on skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, friendship skills, and problem solving. At Jefferson, the Wolverine Wellness teacher, with support from the student services team, provides presentations to seventh and eighth graders that are aligned to the Second Step Curriculum. All of the material is presented in a developmentally- and age-appropriate manner for our preschoolers through eighth graders. The lessons are focused on helping children protect themselves by teaching them the following skills: recognizing unsafe and sexually abusive situations and touches, immediately reporting these situations to adults, and assertively refusing these situations whenever possible.
In compliance with Ann Marie's Law and to enhance our students’ self-management, self-efficacy, and other social-emotional competencies, we utilize age-appropriate assessments, staff education, and a partnership with a local non-profit for our oldest students. For all Woodridge 68 students in third through eighth grades, we utilize the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS), along with the SELweb surveys, which assist school personnel in determining the SEL strengths and challenges of students as well as identifying any children in need of further support services. Seventh and eighth grade students will also receive a lesson on suicide prevention through their regularly scheduled wolverine wellness class. The lesson has been created with a non-for-profit community organization, Elyssa's Mission, and presents the evidence based "Signs of Suicide" prevention program as a large scale mental health screening for all students. Follow-ups from this screening are performed by Jefferson Junior High Student Services staff. More information will be sent home to Jefferson families prior to this program's implementation.
The Illinois State Board of Education has released a resource guide based on Faith’s Law that includes sexual abuse response and prevention resources that are available within the community and can be found at https://www.isbe.net/faithslaw.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of these requirements and/or do not want your child to participate in these lessons, please contact your child’s teacher or school administration.