Villa law mandates trauma-informed school shooting lockdown drills

SPRINGFIELD – Schools will have to follow specific trauma-informed guidelines for school shooting lockdown drills under State Senator Karina Villa’s (D-West Chicago) new law.

“We should be doing everything in our power to stop school shootings and avoid the trauma that comes from shooting events — including that caused by involvement in graphic simulations during lockdown drills,” Villa said. “Our students should feel safe at school, and these trauma-informed guidelines will help them prepare for the worst without carrying the weight of a simulated tragedy.”

Villa’s law will tone down law enforcement drills for school shootings to put students’ safety and well-being at the forefront. Any drills will have to be announced in advance and involve school personnel, and they cannot include active shooter simulations.

Parents and guardians will be notified of upcoming lockdown drills and can choose to exempt their child from participation for any reason. School administrators and personnel will also be able to exempt students from participation in lockdown drills, and instead provide alternative safety education and instruction related to an active threat.

House Bill 2400 was signed into law Tuesday and takes effect immediately.