New: Active Shooter Drills Required Within First 90 Days of School Year

Published January 3, 2019

Public Act 100-996 recently amended the School Safety Drill Act to require all schools in Illinois to conduct at least one (1) annual active shooter or active threat drill, effective January 1, 2019. The drill must occur within 90 days after the first day of each school year, meaning the 2019-2020 school year.  Pursuant to the amendment, these drills are to be conducted in order to evaluate the preparedness of school personnel and students in response to a school shooting threat, which has unfortunately become all too common in recent years.

This requirement previously provided that drills could be conducted on days and times when students were not present in the school building.  Following the amendment, the Act now requires active shooter drills to be conducted on days and times when students are typically present in the school building, and the drills must involve participation from all personnel and students present at the school at the time of the drill.  The Act does provide that administrators or school support personnel may, in their discretion, exempt students from participation in the drill.  Finally, the Act now provides that the appropriate local law enforcement agency must observe administration of the drill.

The changes made to the Act are intended to ensure that students and staff are adequately prepared in the case of an active shooter emergency.  Please contact your Robbins Schwartz attorney with any questions or concerns regarding this new requirement.