SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois schools will be better organized to stop violence due to a new law backed by state Rep. Diane Pappas, D-Itasca, requiring all public schools to produce and implement their own threat assessment procedures.
“There should be no question about our kids’ safety while they’re in school,” Pappas said. “This legislation will ensure that public schools have careful, comprehensive plans in place to deal with the threat of violence. The people in charge of keeping our kids safe need to be prepared for danger on campus; whether that is something as simple as a playground fight or as serious as a shooter.”
Pappas voted to pass House Bill 1561, which requires school districts to create threat assessment teams made up of teachers, school social workers, law enforcement members and other relevant officials. The teams will be tasked with putting together a comprehensive response plan in the case of on-campus violence. This legislation received strong backing from both sides of the aisle and is now law.
“We need to explore every avenue we can to keep our schools safe,” said Pappas. “That includes keeping violent criminals and people with mental health challenges from getting powerful weapons, as well as preparing our schools for emergencies.”