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Bill Would Create School Safety Task Force

Updated: Thursday, February 6 2014, 02:06 PM CST

The country was horrified by the school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and, more recently, campus shootings like the one at Northern Illinois University. Now, Illinois lawmakers are working on creating a school safety task force.

This is a continuation of an effort from last spring. The bill would create the school standards and safety task force. It would be a bipartisan group including two senators and two representatives who are parents, a member of the board of education, the state police, an architect or engineer that specializes in security, and associations representing groups including schools, fire departments, and police departments.

The task force would study current school practices, as well as previous school shootings, to develop recommendations for Illinois schools to improve safety.

"For example, one of the things that was pointed out in the hearing today was that the doors of the classrooms that were in play there in Sandy Hook only locked from the outside," Sen. Heather Steans (D - Chicago) said. "So the teachers couldn't lock the doors from the inside, and prevent the gunman from coming in. That's an easy thing to fix."

The task force will put its recommendations together in a report for the general assembly, governor, and state board of education by January 1, 2015. The group would then be disbanded in July.

The bill passed the Senate executive committee today. It still needs to get through the full Senate before heading to the House.

Bill Would Create School Safety Task Force


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