school desks

CHICAGO – Local school boards’ threat assessment procedures will be filed with local law enforcement agencies to increase student safety thanks to a measure spearheaded by State Senator Christopher Belt that was signed into law Friday.

“As chair of the Senate Education Committee, one of my top priorities is student safety,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “This law will ensure all schools are up to date with their procedures and give parents one less worry in case of a school threat.”

Currently, each public school district is required to implement a threat assessment procedure that includes the creation of a threat assessment team. The team must consist of an administrator, teacher, school counselor, psychologist, school social worker and at least one law enforcement official.

House Bill 4994 requires each local school board to file the threat assessment procedure and a list of the members on the school district's threat assessment team or regional behavior threat assessment and intervention team with a local law enforcement agency and the regional office of education at the start of each school year. Chicago Public Schools will file the threat assessment procedure and list of members with the Illinois State Board of Education.

“School shootings have been happening across the country,” Belt said. “Bringing the law in line with what many school districts practice prioritizes the safety of all students across the state.”

The new law takes effect immediately.