Annual School Shooting Drills Now Required Under Amended School Safety Drills Act

Governor Quinn signed into law Public Act 98-0048, amending the School Safety Drills Act to require schools to conduct a school shooting drill at least once a school year for each school building within a district that houses students.  Effective July 1, 2013, P.A. 98-0048 clarifies that only school personnel – not students – are required to participate in the evacuation or reverse evacuation drills related to school shootings.  The Act also now requires law enforcement personnel to be involved in these drills. If a mutually agreeable date cannot be reached between the school administrator and the appropriate local law enforcement agency, then the school must still hold the drill without participation from the agency. 

Although students are not required to participate in the mandatory school shooting drills, the Act still requires them to participate in school and bus evacuation drills addressing situations when conditions outside of a school building or bus are safer than inside a school building or bus, including incidents involving fire, suspicious items or persons, hazardous materials or bomb threats. 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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