Aurora teacher found guilty of failing to report suspected child abuse

A teacher in west suburban Aurora on Tuesday was convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse.

Elizabeth Aguilar, 43, who taught at Bardwell Elementary School, was found guilty by a jury of a misdemeanor charge of failure to report child abuse as a mandated reporter, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office said in a statement.

As a mandated reporter, she was required to report suspected child abuse to the Department of Child and Family Services, prosecutors said.

Aguilar had reasonable cause to believe a child she knew in a professional capacity was being abused, but didn’t report it to DCFS, prosecutors said. It was unclear if the child was a student of hers.

“Mandated reporters are obligated by law to report suspected child abuse,” State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in the statement. “If the life and well-being of a child is at stake, it is not too much to ask. I hope this verdict sends a clear and strong message that there are consequences for those who do not take this obligation seriously.”

On Sept. 3, the District 131 Board of Education took action to dismiss Aguilar, a spokesman for the district said in an email.

“The safety and security of our schools and students is always our top priority,” the spokesman said. “All District staff members are mandated reporters to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The spokesman said that district staff are required to take online training that emphasizes their duty as mandated reporters.

Aguilar is due in court for sentencing on Nov. 13.