IEA, lawmakers discuss violence in schools | Illinois

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(The Center Square) – The Illinois Education Association, which represents educators, and lawmakers are calling on schools to follow the law when dealing with violence in schools.

Illinois has seen a rise in student violence since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some lawmakers and education officials are now advising schools to follow the guidelines already in place.

In 2019, the Illinois Education Association initiated the School Threat Assessment Bill to help with violence in schools. President of the Illinois Education Association Kathi Griffin said action needs to be taken right away.

“We need to take immediate action to keep our students and staff safe,” Griffin said. “We need to do that by making sure our schools are following the law.”

The School Threat Assessment Bill, which passed in 2019, called for school districts to review each school building’s emergency response plans, protocols, and procedures in the wake of a threat. The bill also requires each school district’s assessment team to include mental health professionals along with representatives from state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.

State Rep. Toni McCombie said that there are reasons why this law is in place and all faculty need to understand why.

“There are laws that administration and our ROEs and ISBE have to follow for health, life, and safety, and The School Threat Assessment Bill is one of those,” McCombie said.

McCombie and state Rep. Fred Crespo are working with the Illinois Education Association to develop new legislation designed to enforce the already enacted Student Threat Assessment Bill.

Crespo said the legislation is important.

“Keeping schools safe, free of violence, making sure that students have a learning environment that is welcoming and open to all is paramount to having a strong school community,” Crespo said.

Data from the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System shows that 19.9% of students in Illinois face bullying on campus.



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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