IL To Require Active Shooter Drills In Schools? - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

IL To Require Active Shooter Drills In Schools?

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Illinois Governor Quinn has announced an aggressive plan for gun control and safer schools. Among many safety controls, he wants to pass laws requiring schools to practice active safety drills.  

Some local school districts have already started working on implementing this in QCA schools. 

From Columbine to the days after Sandy Hook, school safety officials say their strategies have changed. 

"You look at some of the old plans they basically say lock the door turn off the lights and pull the shades," Moline Risk Management Coordinator Chris Lopez says. 

School shootings like Virginia Tech showed that doesn't work; now several local schools are trying the ALICE program and possibly active shooter drills. 

"If you keep kids spread out in movement, in fluid movement, you can react a lot better you don't just have one target, you have multiple targets and it makes it harder," Lopez says.

But getting kids prepared doesn't mean scaring them with a hard reality.

"We won't have someone come into the building with a gun, or anything like that, we're going to keep this very simple," Lopez says.

Moline schools plan to walk kids and teachers through how to keep safe in a shooter situation by barricading the doors and spreading out.

"Have them take inventory of the rooms and say these are the items we could use," Lopez says, "You want them to be able to know if they can move them and can kids move them?"

With this issue on the table, local law enforcement are gearing towards prevention before a shooter gets in the door.  

"In a perfect world, our presence out there would prevent any sort of casualty in a school and that's the direction we're going to go with that," Rock Island County Sheriff Jeff Boyd says. 

While they're not doing any active shooter drills right now, it's something they may go back to. 

"It's something I think you have to re-visit, visit the initial time but re-visit it multiple times," Boyd says.

But only if they can afford to.

"Is there a way to fund that, or is it something that's going to put undue amount of new controls and planning on school districts?" Boyd asks.

It's all to prep kids and teachers for the worst. 

"If we tell them to be sheep, they'll be sheep," Lopez says, "But if we tell them that they have the opportunity to save kids and do what they need to do in order to save kids, then they will go and do that."

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