GURNEE, Ill. – Students’ mental health would be better protected during active shooter and school lockdown drills under legislation supported by state Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee.
“School lockdown and active shooter drills are a necessary part of keeping students safe in the classroom, but they’re a relatively new practice and we’re still learning about ways we can improve them,” Mason said. “While these drills are vital to maintaining school safety, it’s become clear that they can also take a serious toll on students’ mental health.”
Mason is backing House Bill 2400, a measure that would update policies on school lockdown and active shooter drills to help prevent students from experiencing trauma or other damage to their mental health during the demonstrations. Under House Bill 2400, parents and guardians would be notified in advance of lockdown drills that require student participation. They would also be told about the content and tone of upcoming drills, and they would be given the opportunity to opt their children out of the drills. The measure would also require that annual active shooter demonstrations led by law enforcement agencies be conducted on days when students are not present at school.
“Simple changes like giving students advance notice of upcoming drills and making sure they aren’t present for high-intensity active shooter demonstrations can go a long way in keeping students protected from the negative impacts of these activities,” Mason said. “These drills were implemented to keep young people safe. We need to make sure they aren’t doing the opposite by causing unnecessary harm to students’ mental health.”
Visit Rep. Joyce Mason’s website
247-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
36100 Brookside Dr.
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Gurnee, IL 60031