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Collins’ school safety legislation becomes law

Posted by Admin On July - 3 - 2013


Police must partner with schools on shooting incident drills


OAK PARK,IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) spoke at a ceremony held at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park for the signing of school safety legislation she sponsored. The new law requires law enforcement to work with schools to conduct shooting incident drills.

“Preparation is one of the keys to making sure school is a safe environment for all our children,” Collins said. “If in the future, God forbid, someone enters one of our schools to harm students and teachers, administrators and police will already have experience communicating and working together.”

Public and private schools in Illinois are already required to conduct evacuation drills to prepare for disasters such as tornados and fires. They may also simulate bomb threats, hazardous materials situations and other types of incidents. The law Collins proposed requires local law enforcement agencies to participate in exercises that prepare for a shooting incident and to notify schools if they find deficiencies in their response plans. It explicitly states that students do not have to be present at the time of the drill. Some schools may decide that the disruption and apprehension caused by asking students to act out a response to a shooting outweigh the benefits of student participation, particularly in the younger grades.

The legislation also adds suspicious person drills to the list of other kinds of safety exercises schools may conduct. Senate Bill 1625 takes effect immediately.

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