Legislators push to make schools feel safer for kids

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - Lawmakers are looking for ways to make students feel safer in schools, especially after Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Tx.

Freeport Assistant Superintendent Doctor Julia Cloat praises her district’s response to a recent shooting threat at Carl Sandburg Middle School.

“We started the investigation right away by interviewing, students and parents and staff members and involving the freeport police,” Cloat told 23 News

Experts say focused response to a school threat is important. State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) and representative Maura Hirschauer (D-West Chicago) sponsored a bill which alerts parents at least 5 days before a shooting drill.

“We really need to make sure that instead of creating trauma in these drills that we are making sure that the drills are in place in a calm and matter of fact way for the children and the educators,” Sen. Villa said.

The lawmakers say children shouldn’t be traumatized by these training sessions.

“Our focus needs to be putting more money into our mental health system in the form of paying school social workers more, paying our mental health supporters more so they stay in these very difficult professions that are much needed,” said Rep. Hirschhauer.

Hirschauer says another step in the right direction would be stricter gun storage laws, so children can’t get access to the guns their parents buy.

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