Are Illinois schools prepared for an active shooter?

One of the scariest things about the school shooting in Florida is that is can seemingly happen anywhere at any time.

So what are Illinois school districts doing to protect our children?

Just months after a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, killing 26 people -- most of them children -- then-Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill requiring that all school districts in Illinois perform safety drills to prepare for a possible shooting.

Under the law, schools must partner with local law enforcement agencies at least once a year to conduct an active shooter drill or training.

The law leaves it to up each district to decide whether students take part in that exercise.

So is the law being followed? It's hard to say. The Illinois state board of education is in charge of monitoring the training, but when we called they said they don't keep records showing whether individual districts have complied. They say the districts keep those records and are only required to show them to the state once a year.

Wednesday’s mass shooting in Florida has parents across the country wondering whether their child's school is properly prepared.

In northwest suburban Schaumburg, police say they're doing everything possible.

"We don't just check the box and say we've fulfilled our mandate and wait until it's due again,” said Lt. Shawn Green.

Green says Schaumburg officers regularly train to respond to an active school shooter, or a shooter in any situation

Police also meet with school administrators to review emergency plans.

Just as important, he says, a full-time officer is assigned to the high school and another to all the elementary schools.

"Building trust with kids in order to bring issues forward, concerns that they have. Whether it's a fellow student. Doesn't have to be a violent thing. could be just 'hey my friend needs help,'" Green said.

State officials tell us most school districts in the state choose not to include students in their active shooter drills, believing the potential emotional trauma of even a drill outweighs the benefits.

In addition to the active shooter drills, Illinois school districts are also required to hold drills for severe weather and other emergencies.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

More Stories You May Be Interested In - includes Advertiser Stories