Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law that requires all Illinois schools to hold active safety drills with local law enforcement Tuesday.
James Woodward is the superintendent of Anna-Jonesboro Community High School and says an active shooter drill is already a part of the school's plan.
"In our safety plan now, we have in place for if we were to have an intruder with a weapon, that is part of it," Woodward said. "So, we've already got things in there. This plan may want us to be a little bit more extensive than what we've done and that's okay, we'll do it. It's not something new to us."
Currently, school districts are required to conduct a minimum of six drills: three school evacuation drills, one bus evacuation drill, one law enforcement drill and one severe weather and shelter-in-place drill. The new law requires that the law enforcement drill include a shooting incident, and that law enforcement participate in it. The drill must take place in each school building where students are taught, and it must occur during the academic year.
Woodward says the plan that the state will require could be more extensive than what the school currently does.
"It could be a lot bigger drill," Woodward said, "Right now, basically what we do is [act like] we have an intruder in the building and we lock it down. We lock every classroom. The teachers know what they're supposed to do. We have a plan book. No students are allowed in the hallway. We have a crisis plan for if a situation like that were to take place."
Woodward says the school will gladly follow the new plan that the state requires. He says if it helps keep the students safer, he is in support.
"I pray everyday that something like that doesn't happen, not just for us but in any school district," Woodward said.
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