IEA Calls on School Districts, Lawmakers to Make Schools Safer

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Illinois Education Association (IEA) President Kathi Griffin is calling on school districts that are not adhering to Illinois school safety laws to immediately comply. Griffin made the announcement at a news conference earlier today. Griffin also announced Rep. Fred Crespo (Hoffman Estates-D) and Rep. Tony McCombie (Savanna-R) are working with the IEA on legislation to track which school districts are not in compliance with Illinois’ laws. In 2019, the Illinois Education Association initiated, and the state legislature passed, the School Threat Assessment Bill, House Bill 1561 (HB 1561). The law does several things:

• Instructs schools to develop a threat assessment team and a threat assessment protocol.

• Expands the use of the 1-cent county sales tax to include school safety improvements, school resource officers or mental health professionals, or allow a district to issue bonds, borrow money or find other ways to pay for the similar needs.

• Requires school districts to implement a threat assessment procedure that may be part of a school board policy on targeted school violence and prevention, which must include the creation of a threat assessment team made up of specific people.

• Calls for each district to review each school building’s emergency and crisis response plans, protocols and procedures and the make-up of its team.

• Requires each district’s assessment team to include mental health professionals as well as representatives from state, county and local law enforcement agencies.

The IEA is now partnering with Crespo and McCombie to sponsor new legislation that will ensure school districts are complying with the requirements in the School Threat Assessment law.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

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