The Notification Law, which was enacted in 1995, requires that the Illinois State Police maintain a sex offender database that identifies sex offenders and makes their relevant information available to the persons identified by this statute. The Internet disclosure obligation was deemed “retroactive,” i.e., covering the time period since the last disclosure; thus it “does not operate as a prior restraint” on a sex offender’s conduct. has had a law providing for mandatory registration of sex offenders and corresponding community notification.” Although Minnis conceded that the Internet disclosure does not ban any speech directly, he argued that the “hostility of the public against scarlet-letter-tagged sex offenders” drives the “speakers” on the Internet “into silence,” and that effectively becomes a “ban” on free speech. The statute mandates that Section 3(a) of the Registration Act information be disclosed to counties and other entities, such as institutions of higher learning, public school boards, child care facilities, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, social service agencies providing services to minors, and volunteer organizations providing services to minors. After reviewing the language of the Registration Act and its legislative history, the Court concluded that the legislature intended to protect the public in two ways: (1) by providing crucial information to law enforcement officials who monitor the movements of sex offenders; and (2) by disseminating the information to the public. The Court rejected this argument, stating: “[a]lthough the public availability of the website information may have a lasting and painful impact on sex offenders, these consequences flow not from the statutory registration and notification scheme but from the fact of conviction, which is already a matter of public record.” Additionally, Minnis argued: (1) a “strict scrutiny” First Amendment analysis should be applied because the disclosure requirements against sex offenders are “content-based laws” (i.e., laws applicable to particular speech because of the topic discussed or the idea or message conveyed), and are presumptively unconstitutional unless a restriction is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest (which Minnis claimed did not occur); and (2) the Registration Act and Notification Law “chills substantially more speech than is necessary to further the governmental interest.” The Court rejected these arguments, engaged in a comparative analysis, adopted an “intermediate scrutiny” constitutional standard, and concluded that: (1) Illinois sex offender laws are “content-neutral,” (i.e., they “impose burdens on speech without reference to the ideas or views expressed”); and (2) the remedy of sex offender disclosures laws enacted by the legislature “advances the substantial governmental interest of protecting sex offenses against children and protecting the public from the dangers against recidivist sex offenders,” outweighing any “chilling effect.” Minnis also argued that, in addition to the unfavorable treatment of juveniles as sex offenders, the disclosure obligation applied to “too many people” and the courts should undertake an “individualized risk assessment” of each offender as part of its “independent duty” to review these policy issues. Below we have provided several links regarding internet safety for parents, students, and teachers.Please note that all sites are outside of the district's filtering system.Grooming - learn how to recognize this and discuss the tactics with your child Guidelines for parents of teenagers - tips for communicating with your teen regarding online usage Guidelines for parents of pre-teens - webpage created to address safety issues with young children I Keep Safe - a website for both parents and children with many tutorials, games, and activities to open the lines of communication regarding internet safety Internet Acronyms Every Parent Needs to Know - top 20 acronyms students use in chat rooms plus another 50 acronyms commonly used in texting Internet Agreement - an alternate version of one from Family Contract Internet Safety Quiz: How Aware R U? Take this quiz to find out how chat-room savvy you are!Parent's Guide to Internet Safety - suggestions from the FBI to keep kids safe online Parents on Patrol - created by a senior executive at the National Crime Prevention Council to help parents keep their kids safe online Tips for Parents - from IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan's website Chat Danger - a site all about the potential dangers of IM, emails, networking, etc.In July 2015, the circuit court granted Minnis’ motion to dismiss the indictment; specifically ruling that the entire Registration Act’s Internet disclosure requirement was unconstitutional on its “face” and “as applied” to Minnis, and it was “based solely on the first amendment.” If Minnis “knowingly or wilfully” provided “false” information under the Registration Act (including incomplete information regarding his Facebook account), he can be found guilty of a Class 3 felony, which carries a sentence of up to five years imprisonment. Registration Act and Notification Law “The Registration Act and the Notification Law ‘operate in tandem, providing a comprehensive scheme for the registration of Illinois sex offenders and the dissemination of information about these offenders to the public.’” all e-mail addresses, instant messaging identities, chat room identities, and other Internet communications identities that the sex offender uses or plans to use, all Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) registered or used by the sex offender, all blogs and other Internet sites maintained by the sex offender or to which the sex offender has uploaded any content or posted any messages or information. In addition, Section 3(a) mandates that a sex offender submit other information, including a current photograph and his/her current address, place of employment, telephone numbers, vehicle license numbers, and distinguishing marks on the body. [as] [t]he content on the Internet is as diverse as human thought.’” The Illinois Supreme Court rejected the defendant’s “as applied” challenge, holding that since the circuit court did not hold an evidentiary hearing and make findings of fact, any such challenge was “premature.” As to Minnis’ facial challenge to the Registration Act as overbroad, the Court stated that a statute can only be invalidated “if a substantial number of its applications to protected speech are unconstitutional, judged in relation to the statute’s plainly legitimate sweep,” a burden not met by defendant.
) ID the Creep - great game to test your networking IQ!As discussed herein, the Illinois Supreme Court in its Opinion has clearly enforced the General Assembly’s intent to protect children against sex offenders and the public against potential sexual recidivists by limiting the First Amendment rights of offenders. Although these questions did not constitute a scientific sample, this questioning may reflect, in my experience, a greater generational use of social media by such students, an issue that the legislature and the courts may need to consider further in future years. Although the Minnis Court did not expressly hold that the constitutional challenge to the Notification Law was denied, in light of the “tandem” nature of the two sex offender statutes, it is clearly implied. Nevertheless, the limitations on free speech in sex offender cases may invite additional judicial or legislative review in future years. Background of the Case In 2010, Minnis was adjudicated a delinquent minor in Mc Lean County for his Class A misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse conviction and was sentenced to twelve months of probation, rendering him a “sex offender” under the Registration Act. For further information, please contact your local FBI office or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5687.While on-line computer exploration opens a world of possibilities for children, expanding their horizons and exposing them to different cultures and ways of life, they can be exposed to dangers as they hit the road exploring the information highway.