Schools must have a legitimate reason to demand students provide their social media passwords under a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Chief sponsor Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, said his bill — HB 3527 —  strikes a balance between student privacy and school districts’ legitimate needs to investigate problems such as bullying.

“There are still different ways to get that information,” he said. “What they can’t do is to ask for that password and go off and use that password on their own,” he said.

Brian Schwartz of the  Illinois Association of Principals said the measure appears well balanced.
“We think it’s a much better bill and a much better law and will allow building-level administrators to investigate violations of school district policy but still allow (for) and protect kids privacy,” he said.

Fortner’s measure defines and clarifies a reasonable-cause requirement, whereas earlier legislation was sometimes being cited as justification to implement blanket policies.

Under the new measure, a school would now need reasonable cause — such as report by a victim, parent or witness — before entering students’ social media spaces to look for information.

“There should be a real event going on before demanding private passwords, otherwise it’s just fishing without cause,” Fortner had said.

The new act takes effect immediately.

Senator Kirk & Representative Mike Fortner
To Host Staff Mobile Office Hours

Staff from the Office of U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
Staff from the Office of Ill. State Representative Mike Fortner (R-49th)

American Legion Hall Post 300
123 Main Street
West Chicago, Ill.
*Parking available in rear

Monday, August 31, 2015
10:00am – 1:00pm

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) announced that his staff will hold mobile office hours in West Chicago on Monday, August 31, in conjunction with Illinois State Representative Mike Fortner’s (R-49th) staff. Kirk staffers will be available to assist constituents with any problems they may be experiencing with the federal government, including Veterans Affairs, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, student loans, and immigration.

I am pleased to have the opportunity of partnering with Rep. Christine Winger and several area pet rescue and shelter organizations for a first ever Pet Rescue Fair to be held on Sunday, August 16th at the James "Pate" Philip State Park, 2054 W Stearns Rd in Bartlett. The event will take place from 12:30 pm until 3:00 pm and is free to the public. 

Participating organizations will have information and applications and, most important, dogs, cats and other small animals available for adoption. Participating rescue and shelter organizations include:

·         Anderson Animal Shelter
·         Greyhounds Only
·         Mobile Mutts Rescue
·         St. Sophia's Forgotten Felines
·         Kane County Animal Control